Senior Pakistani politician escapes suicide attack

AP News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2012 9:02 AM
Senior Pakistani politician escapes suicide attack

A suicide bomber targeted the convoy of a senior politician in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing one of his guards and wounding at least three people, police said.

Aftab Khan Sherpao, who as the interior minister had supervised operations against the Pakistani Taliban during the tenure of former President Pervez Musharraf, escaped unharmed in Saturday's attack.

But one of his police guards was killed in the bombing, and a lawmaker and three other people were wounded, local police chief Nisar Khan said.

Another police officer, Saeed Khan, said Sherpao was passing through the district of 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.

He said he was riding in another vehicle and saw the attacker, but before anyone could take any action, the man detonated the bomb.

Sherpao, who comes from an influential political dynasty in the northwest, heads a splinter group of the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

He said such attacks could not deter his resolve and he would continue holding such rallies.

He was campaigning ahead of parliamentary elections that are expected to be held later this year.

The Taliban vowed to kill him, and has carried out a number of attacks against his party over the years.

In April 2007, a suicide bomber attacked one of the party's rallies, killing 28 people.

In December 2007, a suicide bomber again targeted Sherpao amid hundreds of worshippers at a mosque inside his home in the same region, killing at least 50 people.