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PESHAWAR: The death toll from Tuesday night’s suicide blast in Peshawar’s Yakatut area has soared to 21, according to health officials.
A Lady Reading Hospital spokesperson said at least 21 people died while 75 injured in the explosion that was the first incident of terrorism targeting the election campaign.
Initially, the death toll was reported to be 13 but it rose to 21 overnight, according to the official.
The deceased included Awami National Party (ANP) senior leader and provincial assembly candidate for PK-78 Haroon Bilour.
According to police, a suicide attacker entered a corner meeting of the ANP leader and blew himself up.
The ANP leader’s funeral prayers will be offered at Wazir Bagh Peshawar at 5:00 pm on Wednesday.
It is pertinent to note here that Bilour’s father, Bashir Ahmed Bilour, too had lost his life in a 2012 suicide bomb explosion in the city’s Qissa Khwani bazar. He was the eldest son of Bashir Bilour and was contesting elections from the same constituency as his late father.
The Peshawar High Court Bar Association has announced a boycott of court proceedings to express sympathy with the bereaved families. Lawyers will stay away from courts today and will not peruse their cases.
Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (Retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk and Acting President Sadiq Sanjrani strongly condemned the bomb blast in Peshawar, which caused loss of precious human lives including an election candidate and injuries to many others.
PTI chief Imran Khan, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, chairman Bilawal Bhutto, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Siraj-ul-Haq also condemned the incident.