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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

World

Six injured in blast near home of prominent Pakistani minister
AFP
Peshawar, March 12, 2013
First Published: 12:12 IST(12/3/2013)
Last Updated: 12:15 IST(12/3/2013)

A bomb exploded close to the home of a prominent provincial minister in restive northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, wounding six people including three children, police said.

The blast hit in the town of Pabbi, just 60 metres from the home of Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is frequently hit by attacks by Islamist militants.

Hussain, a member of the province's ruling Awami National Party (ANP), whose son was killed by Taliban militants, was 25kms away in Peshawar at the time of the blast, police said.

"A bomb exploded near the house of information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and wounded three children and three passersby," district police chief Mohammad Hussain said.

Asked if the minister was the target, the police official said: "It is a terrorism incident."

The police chief said the bomb was hidden in a pile of gravel being used to build a roadside drain, and television footage showed the blast had left a sizeable crater.

Hussain is well known in Pakistan for speaking out against militants. In July 2010, the Taliban shot dead his only son Mian Rashid Hussain, 28, as he travelled home.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have vowed to kill politicians from the secular ANP and in December a suicide bomber killed Hussain's colleague Bashir Bilour, the number two minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, along with eight other people at a political meeting.

Pakistan is due to hold a general election sometime in May but concerns about poll security have grown amid a rising tide of sectarian violence. At least 250 people have been killed in attacks targeting minority Shiite Muslims since the start of the year.


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