Taliban Bombs Own Allies at Pakistan Rally

Protection racket suspected after blast kills 20
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2013 12:03 AM CDT
People stand near a man injured from the blast in the Pakistani tribal area of Parachinar yesterday.   (AP Photo/Ali Murtaza)

(Newser) – A bomb tore through an election rally in Pakistan's tribal belt yesterday, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens more in the deadliest incident yet in the violence-plagued run-up to this Saturday's election. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, but while other attacks have targeted liberal, secular parties, this one hit the Islamist party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, which has close links to the Taliban, the New York Times reports. The Taliban says it targeted the candidate's rally because he had betrayed Arab jihadists, but government officials say they believe the Taliban is charging candidates protection money and attacking those who refuse to pay up. (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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