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Pakistan polls: Former cricketers turn to support Imran Khan

Pakistan polls: Former cricketers turn to support Imran Khan

On July 13, a blast in the southwestern province of Balochistan killed almost 150 people.

An election candidate and his driver were killed by a suicide bomber in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, police said, three days before the country's general election.

Gandapur "succumbed to his injuries in Combined Military Hospital after a suicide bomber blew himself up near his Land Cruiser (SUV) this morning as he left his house for election campaign", district police chief Zaheer Afridi told AFP news agency.

Afridi also confirmed that the bombing, which took place in Kulachi area, was a suicide attack.

Sunday's attack targeted the vehicle of Ikramullah Gandapur, a candidate of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), for the provisional legislative assembly in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, two police officials told Reuters.

In the July 25 balloting, he was to run on the list of the Tahrike-e-Insaf party, led by Khan, who aspires to become the country's next prime minister.




In 2013, Gandapur's brother Israrullah, who was then the provincial law minister, was killed in an attack on his home.

Violence in Pakistan has dropped significantly since the country's deadliest-ever terrorist attack, an assault on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2014 that killed more than 150 people, majority children.

"Gandapur was injured along with five others while his driver died on the spot", he added.

In another political attack Sunday in the northwestern town of Bannu, unknown assailants fired at a vehicle carrying Akram Khan Durrani, leader of the Jamiat-Ulema-Islam-Fazl party that supports the Afghan Taliban. Durrani, however, remained unhurt in the attack.

There are two main contenders among the dozens of parties in the election fray: PTI and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which aims to win a second term despite the jailing of its founder, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, for graft.

Later Sunday, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing that killed Gandapur. The deadly suicide blast claimed the lives of almost 150 people.

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