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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Asia

Blast hits Pakistan political rally: Police

AFP | Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Pakistani soldiers patrol during a military operation against Taliban militants in the main town of Miranshah in North Waziristan.

QUETTA, Pakistan - A bomb exploded at a rally by Pakistan's leading religious political party in the country's restive southwest on Thursday, killing one person and wounding 14, police said.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) party, the largest religious group in Pakistan's parliament, said he believed he was the target of the attack in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

"It was a bomb blast, one person has been killed and 14 wounded," Hameed Khan, a police official in Quetta main police control room told AFP.

The blast came shortly after a speech by Rehman, who escaped unharmed.

"I was in a bulletproof car and that's why I survived. There is blood and human flesh on my car," the cleric told Geo television station.

"My car was badly damaged, almost destroyed. The windscreen of my car was completely cracked, we received a big shock but me and friends inside the car are safe and alive." It is at least the third attack targeting Rehman in the last three years. A bombing at a JUI-F election rally in May 2013 killed more than 20 people, while the leader was targeted twice in as many days by bombings in 2011.

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