At least eight 11 were killed, and 27 injured in a blast inside a local court in Charsadda's Shabqadar area today.
Initial investigations suggest that it was a suicide attack. According to reports the dead include two police officials.
Reports suggest that the suicide bomber was forestalled by a security official as he tried to enter the court premises. This prompted policemen to fire at the attacker, after which he blew himself up.
Eyewitnesses reveal that firing was heard after a loud blast. “The sound of the blast could be heard miles away,” an eyewitness told Waqt News.
“The area was busier because it was the first day after the weekend,” another eyewitness said. “Vehicles were set ablaze after catching fire because of the blast as well.”
"We were sitting with a lawyer when a huge explosion took place in the sessions court," Gohar Khan, a local police official who was at the scene, told Reuters.
"The army and other law-enforcement agencies have arrived and cordoned off the area. The injured are being shifted to nearby hospitals."
Security officials and rescue teams have reached the scene and a search operation is underway.
Casualties have been moved to Shabqadar hospital, while emergency has been imposed in Peshawar hospitals.
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan have condemned the blast in separate statements.
“The sacrifices of law enforcing agencies would not go to waste,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said. “We will completely eliminate terrorism very soon.”
The blast is the latest in a series of attacks in areas around the volatile Mohmand tribal area. It comes 47 days after Bacha Khan University in Charsadda was attacked by TTP affiliated militants, killing 21 people, mostly student and staff members on January 20.
On February 18, Taliban gunmen killed nine Pakistani paramilitary personnel in two separate attacks on checkposts in Mohmand.
On March 1, a remote-controlled roadside bomb targeted a convoy of vehicles traveling in Mohmand, killing two Pakistani employees of the United States Consulate in Peshawar.
The Bacha Khan University attack prompted a lot of criticism of the National Action Plan (NAP) devised in January 2015 to curb terror all over the country.
According to the Interior Ministry NAP is making gains with terrorists being killed and captured all over the country.
Copyright © 2021 Vintage Press Limited