A bomb attack on an election meeting in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Friday killed at least 10 people and injured several more.
The bomb went off close to the office of the Awami National Party's (ANP) candidate Bashir Jan in the city's western neighborhood of Mominabad, police said. Jan, however, escaped the attack unharmed, Pakistan’s Dawn News reported.
At least 25 people were injured in the attack. The bomb blast was heard several kilometers away and damaged nearby shops and houses, AFP news agency reported.
The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out the attack as part of the group's policy to target secular political parties, which have been vocal about fighting against it.
Speaking to Dawn News over telephone from an undisclosed location, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said: “These secular parties want to bring the system of the infidel in Pakistan,” referring to the ANP, the MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement), and PPP (Pakistan People’s Party).
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This is the third bombing by the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Karachi since Wednesday.
The Pakistani Taliban also claimed responsibility for an attack on Thursday on the election office of the MQM in Karachi, the second attack on the party in the city in three days. Eleven people died in the two attacks targeting MQM.
Earlier, an ANP National Assembly candidate had come under attack in Karachi, while a convoy of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidate Hashim Shahwani came under gunfire in Mach area of Balochistan’s Bolan district, according to Dawn.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed concerns over the continuing attacks on election candidates, activists and campaigns of certain political parties.
“If this targeted violence persists, it would render the elections meaningless and make the country hostage to fascist forces,” the HRCP said in a statement on Friday.