A bomb blast targeting an electoral candidate near the Awami National Party (ANP) election office in Karachi killed nine persons and injured close to 20 people on Saturday.

"The target was an election candidate of ANP (Awami National Party). He was travelling in his car when the bomb exploded," senior police official Mazhar Nawaz told the AFP.

However, the targeted candidate, Amanullah Mehsud, escaped the attack unhurt, confirmed a police official.

Rescue teams rushed the blast victims to nearby hospitals.

The ANP, which is one of the tree secular and liberal parties, has been targeted by Taliban militants for its tolerant ideologies, according to AFP.

Meanwhile, Dawn reported that another blast took place near a Peshawar school, injuring four persons.

The first ever democratic election in the country has been marred by unfortunate events.

The abduction of former Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani's son on Thursday has seen no development yet. Police are still clueless about his whereabouts.

Security has been tightened in all the polling booths. Eighty million Pakistani citizens are expected to vote in this election to the 342-seat National Assembly.

More than 130 people have been killed so far in shootouts and bomb blasts prior to the elections.

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