Subscribe Register Login

Air Force Base given 'all clear' after lockdown

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 9:59 p.m.
Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal

3 Taliban bombs target Pakistani politicians

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published April 28, 2013 at 11:44 a.m. Updated April 28, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.

a-pakistani-police-officer-stands-guard-near-an-office-of-a-local-politician-following-a-blast-in-kohat-pakistan-on-sunday-april-28-2013-pakistani-taliban-detonated-bombs-at-the-campaign-offices-of-two-politicians-in-the-countrys-northwest-on-sunday-police-said-killing-many-people-in-an-escalation-of-attacks-on-secular-left-leaning-political-parties

A Pakistani police officer stands guard near an office of a local politician following a blast in Kohat, Pakistan on Sunday, April 28, 2013. Pakistani Taliban detonated bombs at the campaign offices of two politicians in the country’s northwest on Sunday, police said, killing many people in an escalation of attacks on secular, left-leaning political parties.

PARACHINAR, Pakistan — Taliban bombs targeting politicians in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday killed 11 people, the latest in a series of attacks meant to disrupt next month's parliamentary election, police said.

The wave of political violence has killed at least 60 people in recent weeks, and many of the attacks have been directed at candidates from secular parties opposed to the Taliban. That has raised concern the violence could benefit hard-line Islamic candidates and others who are more sympathetic to the Taliban because they are able to campaign more freely without fear of being of being attacked.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the three attacks, plus two others against secular parties in the southern port city of Karachi on Saturday that killed four people and wounded over 40.

"We are against all politicians who are going to become part of any secular, democratic government," Ahsan told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.

The first bomb on Sunday ripped through the campaign office of Syed Noor Akbar on the outskirts of Kohat city, killing six people and wounding 10, police officer Mujtaba Hussain said.

A second bomb targeted the office of another candidate, Nasir Khan Afridi, in the suburbs of Peshawar city. That attack killed three people and wounded 12, police officer Saifur Rehman said.

The politicians were not in their offices at the time of the blasts. They are both running as independent candidates for parliament to represent constituencies in Pakistan's rugged tribal region along the Afghan border, the main sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants in the country.

Many politicians running in the May 11 election from the tribal region have their offices located elsewhere and find it hard to campaign in their constituencies because of the danger. The two who were attacked Sunday are considered to hold relatively progressive views compared to the deeply conservative Islamic beliefs of many in the tribal region.

The third attack occurred in the town of Swabi, where a bomb went off during a small rally held by the Awami National Party, which has been repeatedly targeted by the Taliban. The blast killed two people and wounded five, said police officer Farooq Khan. The two candidates targeted in the attack, Ameer Rehman and Haji Rehman, were not hurt.

The Pakistani Taliban have been waging a bloody insurgency against the government for years that has killed thousands of civilians and security personnel. The group's goal is to oust Pakistan's democratic government and implement a system based on Islamic law.

In mid-March, the Taliban threatened attacks against three secular parties that have earned the militants' ire by supporting military operations against them in the northwest: the Awami National Party, the Muttahida Quami Movement and the Pakistan People's Party. The Taliban have carried out at least 20 attacks against politicians and campaign workers since then, mostly from these three parties.

The violence has forced the parties to close dozens of campaign offices and has prevented them from holding large political rallies that are normally the hallmark of Pakistani elections. Many of the candidates have had to find ways to campaign from a distance, relying more on social media, advertisements and even short documentaries to rally support.

That has put these candidates at a disadvantage, and many have complained the militant violence amounts to vote rigging.

Candidates from Islamic parties and others who have advocated negotiating peace with the militants rather than fighting them have been able to campaign with much less fear of being attacked.

Comments on: 3 Taliban bombs target Pakistani politicians

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.

TOP JOBS

  • Special ed teacher

    lakeside school district in Hot Springs is accepting applic...
    HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, AR

  • Dentist

    general dentist Wanted full or part time at busy office in H...
    HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, AR

  • Concrete finishers

    top pay Form Carpenters Laborers Apply in person bass comme...
    Little Rock, AR

  • Sales assistant

    Are you: Highly organized, Energetic, Detail oriented, and ...
    Little Rock, AR

  • Instructors

    The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), located in...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

Search 871 jobs >

Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal
Arkansas Online