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Suicide bomber kills Pakistani provincial law minister, 7 others - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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File photo—A plainclothes police officer takes photo with his mobile phone of a damaged gate of center jail caused by Taliban militants attacked on July 30, 2013 in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mahsud)

File photo—A plainclothes police officer takes photo with his mobile phone of a damaged gate of center jail caused by Taliban militants attacked on July 30, 2013 in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mahsud)

Dera Ismail Khan, Reuters—A suicide bomber killed the law minister of a Pakistani province and seven others on Wednesday as the country marked the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha.

Israr Gandapur was killed in his home as he greeted residents of his home village who had come to celebrate the holiday. More than 30 people were wounded in the attack, including Gandapur’s elder brother, said Irfan Mahsud, the assistant commissioner in the city of Dera Ismail Khan.

“I saw so many dead people and injured people crying for help,” said eyewitness Haseeb Khan, whose new white holiday clothes were drenched in blood. “There were arms, legs and heads everywhere.” It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.

Gandapur was killed in his home village of Kulachi, about 31 miles west of Dera Ismail Khan. He was local chief and the law minister for the northern Khyber Pakutunkhwa province, the heartland of the Taliban.

The province is ruled by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a party led by former cricketer Imran Khan, which favors peace talks with the Taliban. Gandapur is the most senior member of the party to have been killed so far.

The Taliban have said they are open to talks. But they also say they will not disarm, do not recognize the Pakistani constitution, and will not talk to the government until the army pulls back from their strongholds and all their prisoners are released.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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