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Youth with explosives held near Bhutto's rally

world Updated: Dec 26, 2007 21:01 IST

PTI
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Police in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Wednesday arrested a youth with explosive materials near the venue of a meeting addressed by former premier Benazir Bhutto, hours after a blast ripped through a building in the same area.

The youth, who had a small quantity of explosives, was nabbed by security personnel outside a stadium where Bhutto was addressing supporters of her Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Dawn News channel reported.

Bhutto's meeting was not affected in any way by the arrest, officials said.

The youth was arrested hours after a blast in the office of a cable TV operator in Yakatoot area of Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The blast, which occurred at 5 am, caused considerable damage to the building though no one was injured.

In a separate incident, an explosion damaged six shops selling music CDs in a market at Dera Ismail Khan town in NWFP. No one was injured in the blast.

Pro-Taliban militants in NWFP have carried out a series of bomb attacks on shops selling music and movies and internet cafes. The militants, who claim music and films are "un-Islamic", have also warned owners of such establishments to switch to other businesses. Most of the blasts have occurred before dawn.

Though few people have been injured in these attacks, they have caused widespread panic among the local population.

Bhutto has said during her election campaign that the PPP will crack down on militants if it comes to power.

During her address in Peshawar, Bhutto said people were carrying out attacks like the suicide bombings on her rally in Karachi on October 19 as they were afraid of the people's support for PPP. The meeting did not attract a large gathering and most chairs in the stadium were empty.