Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

8 Killed in Pakistan Campaign Violence ; Taliban Target Candidates with Bombings That Hurt Dozens in Northwest

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

8 Killed in Pakistan Campaign Violence ; Taliban Target Candidates with Bombings That Hurt Dozens in Northwest

Article excerpt

The deaths of 8 people in bombings on Sunday raised to more than 50 the number of people killed in pre-election violence in Pakistan since the beginning of April.

Taliban attacks on election candidates in northwestern Pakistan killed at least eight people and wounded dozens on Sunday, adding to a growing toll of militant violence in the preparations for elections scheduled for May 11.

A bomb planted outside the office of a Shiite politician in the garrison city of Kohat killed five people, police officials said, while a second explosion near the office of a tribal candidate in the regional capital, Peshawar, killed at least three people.

A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed responsibility for the attacks, in which neither candidate was wounded.

At least 50 people have died since early April in election- related attacks, mostly carried out by the Taliban, that have damaged public confidence in the elections and underscored the determination of militants to influence the results with violence.

The bloodshed had been concentrated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, in the northwest, where the Taliban have vowed to attack rallies organized by the Awami National Party, which is secular minded, but in the past week it has spread to other provinces.

In the port city of Karachi, at least 24 people have died since Tuesday in a series of bombings directed at the Awami Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a secular party that dominates the city's politics. Attacks in the city on Saturday killed six people.

In the northwestern province of Baluchistan, Baluch nationalists claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a candidate from the Pakistan Muslim League-N, the main opposition party. The candidate, Sardar Sanaullah Khan Zehri, was unharmed but the bombing killed his son, brother and nephew. …

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