Islamabad: A group of heavily armed militants, including suicide attackers, stormed a judicial complex in the restive Peshawar city of northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing three persons and injuring over 25 others, officials said.
The militants lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately after entering the judicial complex from an entrance at the rear at about 12:30 pm (local time), witnesses said.
Express News channel reported a suicide bomber blew himself up in the courtroom of lady judge Kulsoom Azam.Three persons were killed and 27 others injured, Assistant Commissioner Habibullah Khan told the media.
After visiting the complex, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain confirmed that suicide attackers were involved in the assault.
The militants had also taken several persons hostage inside the complex, Hussain said without giving details.
Media reports said up to 10 militants were believed to be involved in the attack.
Witnesses said the militants were holed up in the complex and exchanging fire intermittently with security forces.
A large contingent of policemen and army soldiers surrounded the judicial complex at Khyber Road, which is a high-security area.
Four policemen, four lawyers and District and Sessions Judge Kulsoom Azam were among the injured.
They were taken to the nearby Lady Reading Hospital, where officials described the condition of two persons as serious.
Footage on television showed people fleeing in panic from the complex as soldiers took up positions on a nearby road.
Some lawyers were seen helping carry an injured colleague out of the complex, which is located a short distance from the Central Jail and official residences of top army officials.
No group claimed responsibility for the assault though such attacks are usually blamed on the Pakistani Taliban.
Information Minister Hussain said it was not clear if the attack was carried out to free anyone being held at the jail within the judicial complex.
Updated Date: Mar 18, 2013 14:35 PM