Islamabad: At least four persons, including a police officer, were killed and 18 others injured on Saturday when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a house in Peshawar city where leaders of the Awami National Party were holding a meeting, police said.
    
The blast occurred in the crowded Dhaki Nalbandi neighbourhood near Qissa Khwani Bazar on Saturday evening. Senior ANP leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a Senior Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, was among the injured, officials said.
    
Police station chief Abdus Sattar Khan and the personal secretary of Bilour were among those killed, police said.
    
Rescue workers and witnesses were quoted by TV news channels as saying that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. Officials at the state-run Lady Reading Hospital said Bilour had sustained injuries in the chest and stomach and was undergoing surgery.
    
Doctors said they had received four bodies and 18 injured.
    
The ANP leaders had gathered for a meeting in a house in Dhaki Nalbandi, a residential neighbourhood with narrow alleys. Rescue workers faced problems in entering the congested alleys.
    
Footage on television showed several shops and cars that were damaged by the powerful explosion. Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation.
    
No group claimed responsibility for the attack though the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has frequently targeted workers and leaders of the secular ANP in the past five years. Scores of ANP workers have died in these attacks.

(Agencies)

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