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Pakistani Candidate Killed In Latest Attack Ahead Of July 25 Elections


Candidate Of Pakistani Political Party Killed In Suicide Attack
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WATCH: Pakistani Election Candidate Killed In Suicide Attack

A Pakistani candidate and his driver were killed in a suicide attack in the country's northwest, in the latest violence related to the July 25 national elections.

Police and hospital officials told RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal that Ikramullah Gandapur died at a military hospital from injuries sustained in a July 22 suicide blast in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan.

Gandapur was a member of opposition leader Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI). He was contesting polls for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly.

Police officer Zahoor Afridi said a suicide bomber targeted Gandapur's vehicle near his residence as he was heading to a political gathering.

"Our hearts weep for him and his family and we pray for both," the PTI said in a statement.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail sent to the media.

Gandapur's brother Israr was killed in a suicide attack three years ago.

Separately, the convoy of another candidate, Akram Durrani, came under fire in the northwestern town of Bannu on July 22.

Police officials told RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal that militant fired shots at Durrani's vehicle. He escaped unhurt but at least two people were injured in the attack.

This was the second attack in less than 10 days on Durrani.

On July 13, Durrani’s convoy was attacked when he was on his way to a political rally, killing at least four people, wounding more than 30.

Pakistan has witnessed a spate of deadly election-related attacks in recent weeks.

On July 13, a provincial assembly candidate was killed in a massive suicide bombing in southwestern Balochistan Province, along with 148 people, in one of Pakistan’s deadliest ever militant attacks. The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

In the northwestern city of Peshawar, a suicide bombing on July 10 killed another provincial assembly candidate and 20 others. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.

The election campaign has been marred by violence as well as what critics describe as a crackdown on political activists, journalists, and opposition figures.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP