Pakistan provincial leader survives assassination bid

The chief minister of Pakistan's restive northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province survived a suicide bombing assassination bid on Friday.

Ameer Haider Khan Hoti was travelling to a political rally when the attacker threw a grenade at his car before blowing himself up, Zaka Ullah, a senior local official, told AFP, but no-one was hurt.

The attack came less than two months after the Pakistani Taliban killed Hoti's number two Bashir Bilour in a suicide bombing at a political meeting in the provincial capital Peshawar.

Danishwar Khan, police chief for Mardan, where the attack took place, confirmed it was a suicide bombing.

"The target of the attack was chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He and other associates remained safe in the attack," he told AFP.

Mardan lies around 50 kilometres (30 miles) northeast of Peshawar, which is on the edge of Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, known as a haunt of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.



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