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5 killed in attack in Pakistan

From Nasir Habib, CNN
updated 7:13 AM EST, Mon February 27, 2012
Pakistani policemen take position during a militant attack on a police station in Peshawar on February 24, 2012.
Pakistani policemen take position during a militant attack on a police station in Peshawar on February 24, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for the blast
  • The explosion happened outside a political rally
  • The secular Awami National Party is often targeted by the Taliban
  • The party is part of the governing coalition led by Gilani's Pakistan Peoples Party

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- An explosion outside a political rally in northwest Pakistan Monday killed five people and wounded 10, officials said.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban, or Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the blast.

"We carried out the attack," said Asim Mehsud, the Taliban spokesman for Pakistan's South Waziristan region. "We will also target upcoming rallies of the Awami National Party, as it is a secular party. We will also target any other rallies conducted by secular political parties in the future."

The chief minister and provincial leaders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where the rally was held, attended the event, which was hosted by the Awami National Party. They left the vicinity shortly before the explosion, provincial spokesman Mian Iftikhar Hussain told a local news channel.

The Awami National Party is often targeted by the Taliban. It is part of the governing coalition led by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's Pakistan Peoples Party.

In November, party member Hanif Jadoon and his bodyguard were killed in a suicide attack.

Jadoon had just finished morning prayers on the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha when a bomber approached his car and detonated his explosives.

The attack took place in the Swabi district of the province, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Islamabad.

CNN's Shaan Khan contributed to this report.

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