Fazlur Rahman survives another attempt on life; 10 dead
ISLAMABAD (PAN): A known religious party leader in Pakistan on Thursday survived a bomb blast, the second attempt on his life in as many days, but 10 people were killed and 20 others injured in the country's northwest.
The politician, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, leader of Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam (JUI-F), was traveling in a convoy to Charsadda town of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, when the blast ripped through a police vehicle deployed for security, a party spokesman, Mufti Ibrar, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Ibrar said it was a suicide attack which occurred as a large number of people joined the convoy which was heading to Mardan city, the second largest city in the region after Peshawar.
At least 10 people, including civilians and police, were killed and more than 20 others wounded, he added. The windows of Rahman's car were shattered by the blast, but he and his companions were unhurt.
A police official in Charsadda, Subhanullah said the dead included a police officer, Ahmad Khan, five other policemen and the rest were civilians. He said the politician was apparently the target. Police had cordoned off the area and the politician had been moved to safety.
It was the second attack on Rahman and his supporters in two days. On Wednesday a suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up near a police checkpoint killing 10 people and wounding more than 20 in the northwestern town of Swabi
Rahman was on his way to a public meeting in the town when the blast happened.
In January, the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was shot dead by a bodyguard for his opposition to the country’s blasphemy law. On March 2, Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated.
Militants linked to Al Qaeda and Taliban have waged a campaign of suicide attacks across Pakistan, mainly in the northwest bordering Afghanistan, in retaliation for government offensives against insurgent strongholds.
Rahman, a firebrand orator, is opposed to Pakistan’s alliance with the United States in the fight against militants.
His party was part of the coalition government until December, 2010, when it pulled out after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani sacked two ministers, including one JUI-F member, for publicly trading accusations of corruption.
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