Skip to main content

Eight people killed as Pakistani Taliban target more candidates

By CNN Staff
updated 5:28 AM EDT, Mon April 29, 2013
Commuters pass under the flags and posters of political parties in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday.
Commuters pass under the flags and posters of political parties in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pakistani Taliban claim responsibility for bombings of candidates' offices
  • Group says secular elections are unacceptable
  • Pakistan's elections are to be held May 11

(CNN) -- At least eight people were killed Sunday as the Pakistani Taliban continued to attack candidates in that country's upcoming elections, authorities said.

The Pakistani Taliban, in a statement obtained by CNN, took responsibility for the bombings at the offices of candidates in Peshawar and the Orakzai Agency.

The Taliban said it targeted secular candidates, but many parties have been hit by the increasing violence.

"A man cannot be secular and Muslim at a time. These are two different doctrines in nature," the statement said.

The elections in May mark the first time in Pakistan's history that one democratically elected government will give way to another.

2012: History of the Pakistani Taliban

The nation has experienced three military coups, been ruled by generals for half its life, and it remains mired in near-constant political turmoil.

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has told Pakistanis to stay away from the elections.

"We are not in favor of democracy, democracy is for Jews and Christians," he said in recent propaganda video.

"They are intended to divide Muslims; we want the implementation of Sharia (law) and for that jihad is necessary," he added.

Both attacks Sunday targeted independent candidates.

Five people died and 22 were wounded by Sunday's explosion in Orakzai, said Dilawar Khan Bangish, police chief of the Kohat District.

In Peshawar, three people were killed and eight wounded, said Khalid Mehmood Hamdani, a senior police official.

The bombings follow three attacks Saturday and one Friday.

The Pakistani Taliban are closely linked with the group's namesake in Afghanistan as well as with al Qaeda. It shares its religious extremist ideology -- but is its own distinct group that wants to replace the Pakistani government with an Islamist one.

Elections are scheduled for May 11.

CNN's Aliza Kassim contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about the delicate business of trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
The accidental killing of a gun instructor raises an "absurd question," writes Mel Robbins.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 5:57 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT