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Attack Targets Former Pakistani Interior Minister

March 03, 2012
by RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A suicide bomber has attacked the convoy of former Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao, killing one of his guards and wounding three other people.

Sherpao, who supervised operations against the Pakistani Taliban under former President Pervez Musharraf, was unharmed in the attack, in Charsadda district, near Peshawar.

Police officer Saeed Khan said Sherpao was passing through Charsadda after addressing a political rally when a young man appeared out of an open field and blew
himself up near the politician's bullet-proof vehicle.

Sherpao's son, Sinkandar, described to Radio Mashaal the incident, which he said "seemed like a suicide attack."

"We were attacked when we were coming from a program in Batagram," he said, adding that Muhammad Ali Khan, a member of the Khyber Pukhtonkhwa Provincial Assembly, was among the injured along with some policemen. "We are taking the injured people to hospital."

Pakistan Tahrek-e-Taliban Momand's Omar Khalid Group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Taliban have vowed to kill the former interior minister, who heads his own political faction, and have previously carried out other unsuccessful attacks against him that have killed scores of his supporters.

In April 2007, a suicide bomber attacked one of the party's rallies, killing 28 people. In December of that year, a suicide bomber again targeted Sherpao amid hundreds of worshipers at a mosque inside his home in the same region, killing at least 50 people.

Rival militants regularly target their opponents in the area. At least five people were killed on February 27 when a bomb attached to a motorbike exploded near a political rally of the Awami National Party in Nowshera, some 36 kilometers northeast of Peshawar.

With AP reporting

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/attack_targets_ former_pakistan_interior_minister_sherpao/24503617.html

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.



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