LAHORE, Pakistan — The Latest on Pakistan’s upcoming national elections and the return of Nawaz Sharif (all times local):
Pakistani police say a bomb has exploded near the election rally of a senior politician from an Islamist party running for parliament from the northwestern town of Bannu.
Police say the explosion wounded 20 people and the candidate escaped unharmed.
Local police chief Rashid Khan says candidate Akram Khan Durrani had just finished his speech when the bomb exploded near his rally on Friday.
Durrani is running in the July 25 vote against popular former lawmaker Imran Khan.
He is a candidate of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, an election alliance of radical religious groups.
No one claimed responsibility, but the bombing came days after a suicide bomber dispatched by the Pakistani Taliban killed secular politician Haroon Ahmed Bilour and 20 others at his rally in the northwestern city of Peshwar.
Officials say disgraced ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be whisked away by helicopter to the federal capital of Islamabad when he returns to Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore from London to face a 10-year jail sentence on corruption charges.
Sharif is to return at 6 p.m. Friday from London where he has been visiting his ailing wife. He is to be accompanied by his daughter Mariam, who was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Sharif’s son-in-law is currently serving his one-year prison sentence.
Sharif is expected to appeal his conviction and seek bail.
Ahead of his return, police swept through Lahore, arresting scores of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party workers to prevent them from greeting him at the airport.