At least seven people have been killed in a powerful bomb explosion that struck the political office of a lawmaker from the ruling center-right and conservative Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) political party in Pakistan’s central province of Punjab.
The bombing targeted the political office of Sardar Amjad Farooq Khosa in the city of Taunsa, located 404 kilometers (251 miles) southwest of the capital, Islamabad, on Wednesday as around 40 people had gathered at the building to voice their grievances. Nine people were wounded.
Amjad Khosa wasn’t present at his election office at the time. The veteran politician was in Islamabad.
Witnesses said two men drove into the building onboard a motorcycle, following which the blast took place. A local PML-N leader was among those killed in the act of terror.
Mubashar Mekan, a police official, said the notorious Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group might have be involved in the attack, adding that an investigation into the deadly bombing has been launched.
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the US in the so-called war on terror. Thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.
Pakistan has been waging a major offensive against militant hideouts across the troubled northwestern tribal regions since June last year, when a deadly raid on the Karachi International Airport ended the government’s faltering peace talks with the militants.
Pakistan’s army intensified its military operations after pro-Taliban elements killed over 150 people, most of them children, in an armed assault on a school in Peshawar in December 2014.
Pakistani officials say almost 3,000 militants have been killed since the launch of the operation.