Pakistan election candidate injured in IED blast

A Pakistani candidate running for parliament in next week's historic election was injured on Saturday as his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the troubled northwest, officials said.

Raj Mohammad, a national assembly candidate from the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party, was on his election campaign in the lower Orakzai Agency area of the restive northwestern tribal belt when his vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

"Mohammad and his driver were injured in the attack and their vehicle was badly damaged," Wali Mohammad, a local government official told AFP.

"The victims are out of danger and had no life threatening wounds," he said.

In a separate incident, an election office of the cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party was attacked in Peshawar.

Police said that around five kilogrammes of explosives were planted outside a PTI area office and exploded in the early hours of the morning.

"The gate and a few chairs were damaged in the blast but nobody was hurt because office was empty at that time," Khalid Mehmood, a senior police official, told AFP.

On Friday, national assembly candidate Saddiq Zaman Khattak was shot dead along with his three-year-old son after praying in a mosque in the southern city of Karachi, police said.

Khattak was a businessman and a candidate for the Awami National Party (ANP), the leading secular party in Pakistan's ethnic Pashtun northwest. A party leader said he had previously received threats.

Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack and threatened further attacks on the ANP and its outgoing coalition partners, the Pakistan People's Party and MQM, the main party in Karachi.

Campaigning has been marred by Taliban threats and attacks, which have killed 63 people since April 11, according to an AFP tally.

The May 11 polls for the national and regional assemblies mark the first time that a civilian government completes a full-term and hands over to another at the ballot box, in a country that has been ruled by the military for half its life.