Suicide bomber kills 17 at Charsadda court, TTP Jamatul Ahrar claims responsibility

Published March 7, 2016
A policeman looks for evidence after a suicide attack in the courthouse of Shabqadar. ─ Reuters
A policeman looks for evidence after a suicide attack in the courthouse of Shabqadar. ─ Reuters

PESHAWAR: At least 17 people were killed in an explosion in the premises of a local court in Charsadda's Shabqadar area on Monday, hospital sources said.

The Jamatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack in an email sent to journalists, saying the attack was carried out to avenge the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, killer of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

The blast left at least 30 people injured, while two police personnel and a woman were among the dead.

Site of the blast on the map.—Google maps
Site of the blast on the map.—Google maps

Official sources at the Shabqadar Hospital told DawnNews they received 13 bodies, while the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar received four.

District Police Officer Sohail Khalid told DawnNews that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

The attacker was intercepted by policemen stationed at the court gate as he was attempting to enter the sessions court premises.

The cops fired at the attacker who detonated his explosives with a loud bang. At least 17 people, including two policemen were killed while 30 others were wounded in the attack.

Eyewitnesses at the site said they heard firing after a loud blast.

The casualties were shifted to Shabqadar Hospital. Hospital administration said they received seven bodies.

At the time of the explosion, the courts were crowded after a break over the weekend.

A soldier walks past damaged vehicles. ─ AP
A soldier walks past damaged vehicles. ─ AP

Some vehicles parked in the vicinity of the blast site caught fire. Efforts are being made to put the fire out.

Security and emergency teams reached the blast site and sealed the area.

Awami National Party (ANP) Zahid Khan, talking to DawnNews after the blast, criticised the provincial government for 'taking inadequate security measures'.

A damaged car at the blast site. ─ Reuters
A damaged car at the blast site. ─ Reuters

Shabqadar tehsil is close to Mohmand tribal region, which is one of seven semi-autonomous tribal regions in the northwest, where Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants were said to have carved out strongholds.

The incident comes at a time when law-enforcement agencies are said to be making gains in implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and taking counter-terrorism measures across the country.

Volunteers rush an injured woman to a hospital in Peshawar. ─ AP
Volunteers rush an injured woman to a hospital in Peshawar. ─ AP

A total of 2,159 terrorists have been killed and 1,724 arrested, data from the interior ministry showed, since NAP was launched following the TTP-claimed attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on Dec 16, 2014.

The number of attacks in Pakistan has fallen around 70 per cent, due to a combination of the military offensive against Taliban bases along the Afghan border and government initiatives to tackle militancy, but attacks on security and civilian targets continue to occur occasionally.

Opinion

Editorial

IMF package
28 Jan, 2023

IMF package

THE IMF decision to send its mission to Pakistan next week to discuss the resumption of its stalled bailout package...
Dar unpegged
28 Jan, 2023

Dar unpegged

IT is over. Nearly four months after Ishaq Dar descended on the cash-strapped economy with some decidedly outlandish...
Lurking hazards
28 Jan, 2023

Lurking hazards

OVERSIGHT of illegal industrial activity occurring within residential areas in the country is weak, especially in...
Election time
Updated 27 Jan, 2023

Election time

There are concerns whether the ECP will be sufficiently able to protect the integrity of elections if they are held under partisan governments.
SCO invite
27 Jan, 2023

SCO invite

THOUGH India’s invitation to Pakistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation events in Goa later this ...
Call to arms
27 Jan, 2023

Call to arms

ONE way the state abdicates responsibility in Pakistan is by farming out its functions to the private sector. In ...