Seven killed in explosion at Pak rally

The chief minister of Pakistan’s restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province escaped an apparent assassination attempt on Monday when a powerful bomb went off near the venue of a political rally addressed by him, killing seven people and injuring 24 others.

The bomb, planted in a motorcycle, was triggered by remote control after Ameer Haider Khan Hoti had left the venue in a helicopter with senior leaders of the Awami National Party, which rules Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

No leaders of the ANP were among the casualties, police said. The explosion occurred near a police checkpost, about 200 yards from Farooq Stadium in Nowshera city, where the ANP had organised the rally.

People were leaving the stadium at the time of the blast. Police officials said seven people were killed and 24 others, including seven policemen, were injured.

Officials said the motorcycle with the bomb was left in a parking lot. Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who was part of the chief minister’s team, said the attackers had failed to target the rally because of tight security.

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