Peshawar (Pakistan): The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide attack in Peshawar, which claimed 14 lives. A Pakistani reporter shared a tweet which read, “The beginning of revenge,” that was said by TTP (Pakistani Taliban) spokesman Mohammad Khurasani.
Iftikar Firdous, Bureau Head for The Express Tribune, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa posted on Twitter, “The TTP’s spokesperson calls the suicide attack a ‘revenge for the previous government of ANP’ while claiming credit for the attack. Identifies the suicide bomber as Mujahid Abdul Karim. #Peshawar” The bombing targeted a political rally of the Awami National Party (ANP), killing Haroon Bilour, a leader of the party. Bilour was the ANP’s candidate for a provincial seat (PK-78) in the upcoming general elections on July 25. The explosion occurred in YakaToot neighbourhood on Tuesday night, moments after Bilour arrived at the venue to address supporters at the meeting.
Condemning the incident, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan sought security for the political parties and their candidates during the election campaigns. “Sad to learn of Haroon Bilour and 2 other ANP workers deaths and strongly condemn the terrorist attack at the ANP corner mtg in Peshawar. All political parties and their candidates must be provided proper security during their election campaigns by the State,” Khan tweeted.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif called the incident “a barbaric act.” “Shocking news from Peshawar: Grieved to learn about shahadat of Haroon Bilour. Strongly condemn this barbaric act of terrorism in a public meeting. Its govt & ECP’s responsibility 2 provide fool-proof security 2 political parties leaders. My condolences to bereaved families & ANP” The ANP was the main target of Taliban attacks in the 2013 general elections.