Twelve people have been killed, and 52 wounded after a suicide bomber attacked a district court in the Pakistani city of Mardan early on Friday, police said, the latest assault targeting Pakistan's legal community.
The bomber threw hand grenades before detonating a suicide vest among the morning crowds at the court, senior police official Faisal Shehzad told AFP.
Earlier Haris Habib, chief rescue officer in the city of Mardan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province told Reuters that they had recovered 12 bodies of the lawyers, police personnel and civilians. "Besides this, we rescued 52 injured, including lawyers, police personnel and civilians from the spot," said Habib, who was quoted in the Express Tribune. The injured have been shifted to a nearby hospital. A state of emergency has been declared at local hospitals and security has been tightened in all adjoining areas, a PTI report said.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes three weeks after a massive suicide blast killed scores of lawyers in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, in Balochistan.
Pakistan's legal community are frequently the subject of targeted killings and small-scale attacks by militants, who are also known to hit soft targets such as schools.
— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) September 2, 2016
Earlier on Friday, there was indiscriminate firing in a Christian colony in Peshawar. The suicide attackers were heavily armed and the terrorists were then gunned down by security forces in Warsak area. According to an earlier Firstpost report, the firing began around 6 am when terrorists attacked the colony and exchanged fire with security forces in Warsak area of Peshawar district in Khyber-Pakthunkhwa province, officials said. Dawn News reported that the attackers had detonated their suicide jackets while two others were killed by security forces. The colony is situated near the borders and sources informed the Pakistani newspaper that the area "is susceptible to cross-border movement of terrorists. Tehreek-i-Taliban splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar has a presence in the area." One civilian was also killed in the attack, they said. "Terrorist attacked Christian Colony Warsak Road, Peshawar. Security forces promptly responded. All 4 suicide bombers killed. Search in progress," Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Asim Bajwa tweeted.
Terrorist attacked Christian Colony Warsak Road, Peshawar.Sec forces Promptly responded,all 4 suicide bombers killed.Search in progress. — Gen Asim Bajwa (@AsimBajwaISPR) September 2, 2016
With inputs from agencies