Bomb attack near MMA candidate's convoy in Bannu, four killed

Disgraced ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be whisked away by helicopter to the federal capital of Islamabad when he returns Friday to Pakistan's easte

Pakistan: At least 70 people, including Balochistan Awami Party candidate, killed in blast

At least four people were killed and 39 injured in an attack on the convoy of former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister and Jamiat-Ulema-Islam (F) leader Akram Khan Durrani in Bannu on Friday.

Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who was campaigning for an assembly seat in the southern province of Balochistan, was killed in the bomb blast along with dozens of others, Balochistan Home Secretary Haider Ali Shikoh told CNN. The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan in more than a year and the third incident of election-related violence this week.

Sharif is expected to appeal his conviction and seek bail. "There seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the 25 July elections but the people of Pakistan will not allow any design meant to target these historic elections to succeed". He will be accompanied by his daughter Mariam, who has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif said that the attack has raised question over the state of security in the country.

Earlier he had said 70 people were killed.

During his term in office, Sharif criticized the military's involvement in civilian affairs and its efforts in fighting extremists.

The attacker detonated his explosive belt close to the ANP leader's vehicle as he approached a rally organised to promote his election in the Yakatoot area of the provincial capital late Tuesday night. The army will deploy 350,000 security personnel to polling stations throughout the country on election day. Unidentified officials said the blast targeted his corner meeting.

The second explosion was in southwestern Baluchistan province, that killed 65 people and critically wounded the candidate.

Akram Khan Durrani, a former CM of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, remained unhurt in the attack.

Durrani was returning after attending a rally in connection with the election campaign when he was attacked.

"There seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the 25 July elections but the people of Pakistan will not allow any design meant to target these historic elections to succeed", he tweeted.

No one claimed responsibility for the bombings, but they came days after a suicide bomber dispatched by the Pakistani Taliban killed secular politician Haroon Ahmed Bilour and 20 others at his rally in the north-western city of Peshawar. But he said the people of Pakistan will not allow anything to prevent "historic" elections from taking place.

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