Taliban bomber kills ANP leader, 7 others in Pak

INT

A leading anti-Taliban politician was among eight persons killed Saturday when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a house in Peshawar where leaders of the Awami National Party (ANP) were holding a meeting.

Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a senior ANP leader and a senior minister of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, succumbed to injuries sustained in the suicide attack, for which the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility.

The bomber struck as Bashir, 69, was leaving the house in the congested Dhaki Nalbandi neighbourhood near Qissa Khwani Bazar Saturday evening.

Bashir was taken to Lady Reading Hospital, where he was declared dead after doctors failed to resuscitate him.

Bilour's personal secretary Haji Noor Mohammed and police officer Abdus Sattar Khan were also killed in the attack, officials said. Hospital officials said 18 people were injured and several of them were in a serious condition.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan claimed responsibility for the attack. He said Bilour was targeted as he was among the government functionaries who spoke out against the Taliban.

Ihsan warned that the Taliban would target leaders of the ANP, Pakistan People's Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which are partners in the ruling coalition in the centre.

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