Five dead, 24 injured in Pakistan blast (Lead)February 27th, 2012 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Feb 27 (IANS) At least five people were killed and 24 injured Monday in a bomb blast at a political rally in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region, Geo News reported.
The remote-controlled blast took place in Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province at a site where the Awami National Party (ANP) was holding a public rally.
Some media reports put the toll at seven and the number of injured at 22.
The bomb went off soon after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Hoti and other cabinet ministers left the meeting.
The injured include four policemen.
Police said the three-kg bomb was fixed in a motorcycle.
The injured were taken to the district headquarters hospital. Five were in critical condition.
ANP leader Zahid Khan told Geo News the target of the attack was the ANP leadership.
Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar said the ANP leaders have been informed about the incident.
According to The Nation, militants tried to take the motorcycle to the helipad but detonated the bomb when police stopped them.
Around 5,000 people were present at the rally.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan South Waziristan chapter claimed responsibility for the attack.
Asim Mehsud, a spokesman for the terror outfit, called up local media to claim responsibility for the blast. He said the Taliban would continue to target the ANP.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik condemned the blast and ordered an inquiry into the incident. He also talked to Hoti soon after the blast and inquired about his safety.
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Tags: anp, asim, awami national party, bomb blast, cabinet ministers, chief minister, critical condition, district headquarters, geo news, helipad, information minister, interior minister, mian, nowshera, political rally, public rally, rehman malik, south waziristan, target, zahid khan