Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti. — Photo by APP

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti remained unhurt in a suicide attack that targeted his convoy in Mardan on Friday, DawnNews reported.

All other members of the chief minister’s convoy also remained unhurt in the blast that took place outside the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan.

The attack occurred when the provincial chief minister was on its way to attend a political rally.

The attacker threw a grenade at the chief minister's car before blowing himself up, Zakaullah, a senior local official, told AFP.

Danishwar Khan, police chief for Mardan, where the attack took place, confirmed it was a suicide bombing.

“The target of the attack was chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He and other associates remained safe in the attack,” he told AFP.

Mardan lies around 50 kilometres northeast of Peshawar, which is on the edge of Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, known as a haunt of Taliban and Al Qaeda linked militants.

The attack on the senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader comes nearly two months after the killing of Bashir Ahmed Bilour in a suicide bomb explosion in Peshawar.

The attack that killed Bilour was claimed by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The ANP, which has been a continual target of militant groups operating in northwest Pakistan, also recently convened an all parties’ conference for developing a consensus on countering militancy in the country.

However, today the Pakistani Taliban rejected the offer of peace talks that had come out of the ANP-led conference.

“The Taliban are still waiting for a serious and meaningful response to peace talks offer from the Pakistani government and the military,” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Dawn.com.

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