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pakistan
Wednesday Jul 11 2018
By
GEO NEWS

'Skip the meeting': Late ANP hopeful Haroon Bilour told son minutes before blast

By
GEO NEWS

PESHAWAR: The son of late Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour said Tuesday night his father had tried to tell him via a friend to not come to a corner meeting that, 20 minutes later, claimed the electoral candidate's life.

"My father had tried to call me around 11 PM. He was unable to reach me as my phone was engaged so he informed me through a friend that I should skip the meeting," a visibly distraught Danial Bilour said as he addressed fellow ANP leaders and party members hours after his father was martyred in the Tuesday night suicide blast in the city's Yakatoot area.

He said after he was informed of the explosion while on way to the venue, he reached the hospital "in two minutes".

"Some [people are] saying it was a bomb blast, some saying it was a planted bomb," he commented.

Noting that he had remained with Haroon Bilour throughout the election campaign even "as a worker", Danial, nonetheless, urged party workers not to lose hope.

"I feel proud to say that everyone present here is Haroon Bilour."

"Tomorrow, if they attack me too, every party worker will come out as Haroon Bilour. Tomorrow, if they attack me too, don't give up hope," Danial added.

Lady Reading Hospital spokesperson Zulfiqar Ali Babakhel had earlier confirmed to media that Danial was safe, a while after initial reports had offered conflicting information on his status.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a corner meeting late last night moments after Haroon Bilour entered to a joyous welcome marked by fireworks, which the assailant used as their cover, killing at least 20 and wounding 65 others, 15 of whom were in critical condition.

The late ANP candidate was set to contest the July 25 elections from Peshawar's PK-78 constituency.

The son of Bashir Ahmed Bilour, a senior ANP figure who, himself, was martyred in a suicide attack in 2012, Haroon was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition but succumbed to his wounds shortly after.

Nearly eight kilogrammes worth of TNT explosives were used in the blast, according to Peshawar Capital City Police Officer Qazi Jamil.

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