The Pakistani Taliban has claimed it was behind a suicide bombing at a rally that killed a secular politician and 20 others two weeks before nationwide elections. Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the militant group, said they targeted the Awami National Party rally in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing Haroon Ahmed Bilour, a candidate for a seat in the provincial legislature. Another 65 people were wounded. Islamic extremists grew to despise the ANP when it ruled the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, from 2008 to 2013.
During that time the military waged a major offensive against militants in the Swat Valley. The militants responded by carrying out a wave of attacks ahead of the 2013 elections, killing hundreds of ANP supporters.
Mr Bilour’s father, Bashir Ahmed Bilour, was killed by a suicide bomber in 2012.
The Pakistani Taliban said the attack was an act of revenge for the ANP’s rule. It vowed to carry out more attacks and asked people to stay away from ANP rallies.