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8 Die in attack against election rally in Pakistan


Islamabad, May 7 (EFE).- At least eight people died and some 30 others were wounded Tuesday in a suicide bombing attack on a religious party's campaign rally in the northwestern Pakistani region of Hangu, a police official told Efe.

The explosion occurred in the early afternoon during a meeting organized by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party in preparation for next Saturday's elections, according to the Hangu police official.

A motorcyclist wearing a vest loaded with explosives headed for the center of candidate Syed Janan's rally before detonating the suicide bomb.

Soon after the attack, Janan told the daily Dawn that he had been wounded but was doing well.

The same party was the target of another attack on Monday in the nearby tribal region of Kurram, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility, and in which 25 people were killed and more than 50 wounded, including two of the candidates.

The Taliban said one of the candidates had collaborated with the United States in capturing several combatants fighting against Western troops in the region.

The JUI-F was the Islamist party with the greatest parliamentary representation in the last legislature, in part due to the fact that the bulk of the religious forces boycotted the 2008 elections.

Party leader Fazlur Rehman was the target of two bloody attacks on consecutive days a year ago that took the lives of almost 30 people in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which borders on the tribal zones.

An average of 60-70 people a day have died in election-related violence in Pakistan over the last three weeks, according to media accounts.