Taliban attack on Pakistan courthouse leaves more than a dozen dead

A Taliban suicide bomber killed 13 people at a courthouse in north-western Pakistan on Friday, in the second attack targeting the country's legal community in less than a month.

The bomber threw a hand grenade at guards before rushing into the district court compound in Mardan, a town in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, local police chief Faisal Shahzad said.

At least four lawyers and two police officers were killed. More than 50 people wounded were taken to hospital, rescue official Haris Habib said.

On August 8, a suicide bomber killed 77 people, mostly lawyers, in an attack in the south-western city of Quetta claimed by both the Islamic State group and Pakistani Taliban.

In a separate attack Friday, some 60 kilometres from the courthouse, gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a Christian neighbourhood in the city of Peshawar.

A member of the Christian community and a security officer were killed when four terrorists sneaked into a Christian neighbourhood on the outskirt of the city, triggering an hours-long gun battle with military commandos.

The militants were cornered by security forces and all of them blew themselves up there, an army statement said.  

At least five people, including two security officials, were wounded, police officer Gul Wahab told dpa. A prompt response by security forces was credited with preventing a high number of casualties.

Jamaat ul Ahrar, a breakaway faction of Pakistani Taliban based in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Extremist Taliban routinely attack members of the minority communities in Pakistan. In 2013, Taliban suicide bombers attacked a church in Peshawar, killing nearly 100 people in what is Pakistan's deadliest attack on religious minorities to date.

Last update: Fri, 02/09/2016 - 16:36
Author: 

Related

Ten dead in bombing on Pakistan-Afghan highway

World

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 07:50

Bus bombing kills 15 in Pakistan

World

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 06:30

More from World

Obama: "I think we're going to be OK"

US President Barack Obama reflected Wednesday on eight years in office and expressed optimism for the future of the...

Obama: Journalists should show "tenacity" with next administration

US President Barack Obama thanks and praises reporters for the way that they covered his eight-year tenure, saying...

Troops amass near Gambia border to pressure president to step down

Senegalese troops amassed at the border with Gambia as the clock ticked down on Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's...

Trump says he doesn't like tweeting, then tweets some more

More than 20 million people follow Donald Trump's Twitter account, but the US president-elect seems to consider...

Colombia reaches deal to begin peace talks with ELN rebels

Colombia and the ELN (National Liberation Army) rebel group have reached an agreement to begin peace negotiations,...