Officials say Ikramullah Gandapur, a local candidate from Imran Khan's party, and his driver were killed by a suicide bomber in the northern city of Dera Ismail Khan, three days before the country's general election.
An election candidate and his driver were killed by a suicide bomb attack in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, police said, three days before the country's general election.
Ikramullah Gandapur, a member of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (or PTI), was contesting polls for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly.
Four other people were wounded in the attack.
Gandapur "succumbed to his injuries in Combined Military Hospital after a suicide bomber blew himself up near his Land Cruiser (SUV) this morning as he left his house for election campaign," district police chief Zaheer Afridi told AFP news agency.
Faraz Mughul, Gandapur's assistant, confirmed the casualties.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, a spokesman for the militant group said.
Tragic: PTI candidate Ikramullah Gandapur in PK 99 (and former Agriculture Minister, KP) was injured in a suicide blast today and later died. RIP. The caretakers are failing in their job to provide security and ensuring a level playing field. #GeneralElection2018 #Pakistan pic.twitter.com/nKzIZLorBg— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) July 22, 2018
It's the latest violence ahead of Wednesday's (July 25) elections.
Israrullah Khan Gandapur, a younger brother of the PTI politician and former law minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was also killed in a suicide attack in 2013.
Spate of attacks
The attack followed a suicide blast in the southwestern province of Balochistan on July 13 which killed 149 people, underscoring continuing security challenges in Pakistan following years of dramatic improvements.
TRT World's Staci Bivens has more on the violence plaguing this election.
Violence in Pakistan has dropped significantly since the country's deadliest-ever militant attack, an assault on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2014 that killed more than 150 people, most of them children.
Pakistan's military intensified operations against militants in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan in the wake of that attack, leading to improved security.
Khan is hoping to achieve a years-long dream of becoming prime minister, with recent polls showing his PTI party climbing nationally ahead of Wednesday's vote.
Kamran Yousaf spoke to TRT World about the security concerns in Pakistan.
Bids on other politicians
Meanwhile, Akram Khan Durrani, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister and a key leader of five-party religious alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, escaped an assassination attempt in Bannu district on Sunday.
According to police, unknown gunman opened fire at Durrani’s vehicle in Mandio area of Bannu, when he was on his way to attend a public gathering.
This was the second attack on Durrani in the last two weeks.
On July 13, militants targeted his convoy with an explosive-laden motorbike, killing at least five people and injuring another 30 in Bannu.
Durrani is contesting elections against Khan, a popular former cricket star, in Bannu.
However, security agencies point finger at Pakistani Taliban who have long been targeting the security agencies and civilians through suicide bombings.
The latest bombing is the fifth terror incident that targeted the election rallies in Pakistan.
On July 13, at least 140 people, including a candidate, were killed and over 150 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in election gathering in southwestern Balochistan province.
Earlier, a suicide blast at an election rally on July 10, in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s capital, had killed 21 people including election candidate.
Shoaib Hasan reports from the front line against the militants, in the northwestern city of Peshawar.