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Bomb blast near Pakistan party office kills six

Published: Updated:

A car bomb exploded outside a secular party’s election office in Pakistan’s commercial hub Karachi late Friday killing six people, officials said, the latest violence ahead of historic polls next month.

The bomb went off close to the election office of a candidate for the Pashtun-dominated Awami National Party in the city’s western neighborhood of Mominabad, local police officer Mohammad Khan said.

It was an improvised explosive device planted in a Suzuki car, police spokesman Imran Shaukat said.

“Six people have died and more than a dozen are wounded,” senior police officer Aslam Pechuho told AFP.

The blast was heard several kilometers away and damaged nearby shops and houses, witnesses said.

“The target was the election office of the ANP whose candidate Bashir Jan was to address a corner meeting” in the impoverished area which is home to many ethnic Pashtuns, police officer Khan said.

Friday’s blast was the second to hit the port city in less than 24 hours. Five people were killed on Thursday when a bomb exploded outside the office of secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party, police said.

The ANP and MQM were coalition partners in the outgoing Pakistan People’s Party-led government and have been threatened by the Taliban for backing military operations against the Islamists.

The three parties are perceived as secular.

Deadly attacks targeting politicians or political parties have killed 40 people since April 11, according to an AFP tally.

May 11 national polls should see power pass from a civilian government that has served a full term to another through the ballot box for the first time in the nuclear-armed country’s turbulent history.