A roadside bomb has killed a former Pakistani senator and two others in northwestern Pakistan, police say

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KHAR, Pakistan (AP) — A former Pakistani senator was killed Wednesday when a vehicle carrying him and his supporters struck a roadside bomb in a former Pakistani Taliban stronghold near the Afghan border, police said. Two other people were killed.

Two other people were wounded in the attack in Bajur, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said Bakhat Bunar, a local police chief. He said the former senator, Hidayatullah Khan, was traveling in a convoy to attend an election rally.

President Asif Ali Zardari and other officials condemned the bombing.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Pakistani Taliban said in a statement that they were not involved. Bajur was until recently a stronghold of the group, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, which is allied with the Afghan Taliban.

The TTP gained more courage when the Afghan Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 2021 and international troops withdrew.

Pakistani authorities often claim that Afghan Taliban leaders are sheltering TTP fighters. The Afghan Taliban government maintains that it does not allow anyone to use Afghan soil for violence in any country.

Wednesday’s attack came about a year after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a political rally of the Jamiat Ulema Islam party in Bajur, killing dozens and wounding 200.

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