Peshawar, Pakistan, March 11 – Three people were killed in a failed attempt to assassinate a provincial minister in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, police said.
Bashir Bilour, senior minister of North West Frontier Province –which is racked by militant violence– was unhurt, police officer Ijaz Khan said.
The minister was visiting a congested neighbourhood in the city to inaugurate a development project when a young male jumped out and threw a hand grenade, killing one person and wounding two others.
The minister told AFP that the attacker, who was young with a short beard, tried to blow himself up but his suicide jacket failed to explode.
After throwing the grenade, he fled into a narrow lane.
Policeman Khan said the attacker took refuge in a house, where he detonated his explosives.
The roof of the house collapsed, killing two women and wounding three other people, including a child.
A policeman was also injured in an exchange of fire, Khan said.
Bilour, a senior member of the secular Awami National Party, also survived an assassination attempt last November.
He blamed the latest attack on Taliban militants.
“Those who want to see anarchy in the country are behind this attack,” the provincial minister said.
Peshawar is the gateway to Pakistan’s lawless tribal districts that border Afghanistan.
The region has been a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked guerrillas since the 2001 US-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.