Ikramullah Gandapur, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) candidate for PK-99, succumbed to grave injuries sustained in a suicide blast in Dera Ismail Khan earlier on Sunday, police said late afternoon.
Authorities confirmed that he passed away at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) DI Khan, where he was bring treated.
DI Khan DPO Manzoor Afridi told Dawn.com that at least eight to 10 kilogrammes of explosive material were used in the suicide attack on Gandapur, which took place in the Kulachi area of the district.
According to hospital sources, the PTI leader's driver and guard were both injured in the attack and are said to be in critical condition.
Faraz Mughul, Gandapur's assistant, also confirmed the casualties.
Police said that the candidate was targeted near his residence while he was heading to a political convention.
Gandapur had till recently served as the provincial agricultural minister in the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet. He was elected through a by-election on the Dera Ismail Khan PK-67 seat after it was vacated following the death of his brother, former law minister Israrulah Gandapur, also in a suicide attack.
PTI Chief Imran Khan condemned the "cowardly terrorist attack" on Twitter.
Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed his condolences through the army's public relations directorate.
The attack comes after the house of a senior leader of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) was attacked in Gwadar on Tuesday. According to sources, Abdul Ghafoor Hoat was inside the house when unidentified gunmen fired shots at the building. He, however, escaped unhurt.
The most fatal election-related attack took place in Mastung on July 13 during a corner meeting organised by Mir Siraj Raisani — a BAP candidate for PB-35 (Mastung). The deadly suicide blast claimed the lives of nearly 150 people while injuring more than 200.
Earlier the same day of the Mastung tragedy, a blast had targeted former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Akram Khan Durrani's convoy in Bannu. While Durrani remained safe, four people were killed and 32 others injured in the attack.
The preceding night, two people had been injured in a blast near BAP's election office in Khuzdar.
On July 10, a suicide blast had killed Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour and 19 others in Peshawar's Yaktoot area. The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which had also claimed responsibility for 2012 attack that killed Haroon's father, Bashir Bilour.
On July 7, at least seven people, including a candidate of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), were injured when a convoy came under a bomb attack in Bannu.
Earlier this month, an attack on a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate's office in North Waziristan's Razmak tehsil had injured 10.
This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources, such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.