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Terrorism

Roadside bomb kills two at Pakistan political rally

A roadside bomb near a political rally in Pakistan has killed two people. The detonation appeared to be targeted at the motorcade of a secular politician whose party has suffered Taliban attacks in the past.

The blast on Sunday hit a political convoy headed by former provincial assembly member, Adnan Wazir, from the secular Awami National Party (ANP).

As well as causing two fatalities, the remote-controlled device left at least six people injured. Wazir himself was reported to be unhurt.

"Wazir escaped serious injuries, but two men in his convoy suffered fatal wounds," hospital chief Mohammad Iqbal told the news agency DPA.

The attack took place at a market in the town of Bannu, 50 kilometers (30 miles), northwest of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Police said that two vehicles were destroyed.

Violence has been on the increase in the area ahead of elections planned to take place on May 11.

Wazir was on his way to address a rally outside North Waziristan, a tribal district thought to be a haven for Islamist militants, campaigning as a ANP candidate. Aspiring delegates in the region - where both the ANP and Taliban have supporters -normally run as independents rather than within party structures.

While nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, an umbrella Taliban group - Tehreeke-e-Taliban - has made death threats against ANP politicians. The party governed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 2008 until this year.

rc/kms (AFP, dpa, AP)