Suicide bombing kills 16 in Pakistan

At least 16 people including six women were killed Monday in a suicide bombing in Pakistan's north-western province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

A Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the attack as revenge for the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, who killed a provincial governor in 2011 in a row over blasphemy laws.

The bomber targeted local court premises in the Shabqadar area of Charsadda district during rush hour, local police officer Jahangir Abdul Sattar said.

"Sixteen people including six women and two policemen were killed in the attack," said Israrul Haq from the local police station.

More than two dozen people, including at least five policemen, were injured, he said.

The suicide bomber was carrying about 8 kilograms of explosives, police chief Saeed Wazir said.

TV channels showed several vehicles badly damaged in the bombing.

Jamatul Ahrar, a Taliban splinter group, said it carried out the attack as revenge for the execution of Qadri.

"The courts in Pakistan are our target as they decide against Sharia law and order the hanging of innocent people. This attack is revenge for the hanging of Qadri," spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said.

Qadri was hanged on February 29 for killing Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, five years ago in Islamabad for criticizing the country's controversial blasphemy laws.

Over 50,000 people attended Qadri's funeral on Tuesday in Rawalpindi near Islamabad.

Shabqaddar borders the Mohmand tribal region where nine policemen were killed by militants last month.

In January, Taliban rebels stormed Bacha Khan University in Charsadda and killed at least 21 people.

Pakistan has been battling Taliban militancy for more than a decade.  

Last update: Mon, 07/03/2016 - 14:23
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