Pakistan: Suicide bomber kills eight including local official Israullah Gandapur


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A suicide bomber detonated his explosives Wednesday at the residence of a provincial government minister in northwestern Pakistan, killing him and seven others, police said.

The blast near the town of Dera Ismail Khan also wounded more than 30 people, senior police officer Mohammad Jan said. The minister of law for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Israullah Gandapur, was meeting with people at his house to celebrate the Muslim Eid holiday when the bomber struck, Jan said. 

The attacker first killed the guard at the house and then blew himself inside the guest room of the minister's residence, the officer said. The minister was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but died along the way. 

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion likely will fall on the Pakistani Taliban and their allies. The Taliban have repeatedly targeted government officials and security personnel, as well as civilians. 

Gandapur was elected to the provincial assembly in May as independent. He later joined the ruling provincial party led by former cricket star Imran Khan and became law minister. He oversaw the office tasked with drafting provincial laws. 

Khan has been a strong proponent of peace talks with the Taliban, but several officials from his party have been killed in attacks since the May election.