PESHAWAR: At least 13 people were killed and 41 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance of Mardan's district and sessions court on Friday, police said.

Security personnel investigate the site of the attack. ─ DawnNews
Security personnel investigate the site of the attack. ─ DawnNews

The Jamaatul Ahrar (JA) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The suicide blast comes just hours after gunmen attacked Peshawar's Christian Colony, an attack also claimed by JA.

District Police Officer (DPO) Mardan Faisal Shahzad said the attacker detonated a hand grenade before exploding his suicide vest. The bomb contained 8 kilograms of explosive material, the DPO said, adding that security arrangements at the site of the attack helped mitigate the damage.

The DPO said four lawyers and three policemen were among the dead. He lauded the bravery of the policemen who tried to stop the suicide bomber from making his way inside the courthouse.

Residents inspect the site of the suicide bomb attack. ─ AFP
Residents inspect the site of the suicide bomb attack. ─ AFP

"Police fired at the attacker, then the second explosion took place," the DIG said. "The attacker was deterred by the firing. His plan was to get inside," he said.

An emergency has been imposed at hospitals in the area.

People from the legal community have been targeted several times in the last few months.

Last month, 73 people, most of them lawyers, were killed after a suicide bomber struck the emergency ward of Quetta's Civil Hospital. The lawyers had gathered to mourn the death of Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) president Bilal Anwar Kasi in a gun attack earlier in the day.

Residents inspect damage at the site of the attack. ─ AFP
Residents inspect damage at the site of the attack. ─ AFP

The Quetta attack was claimed by Jamaatul Ahrar and the militant Islamic State group, but Balochistan Chief Minster Sanaullah Zehri hinted at the involvement of Indian spy agency RAW.

Explore: 54 voices: What we lost in the Quetta carnage

The attacks in Peshawar and Mardan come a day after Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa gave an exhaustive rundown of progress made against militants in the country's northwestern region in Operation Zarb-i-Azb which was launched in June 2014.

He highlighted that Pakistan had suffered a cumulative loss of $106.98 billion in the war on terror between 2001 and 2015. “We are not doing it for anyone but ourselves,” he stressed.

He said 3,500 terrorists had been eliminated during the course of Operation Zarb-i-Azb, while 2,272 soldiers were and 537 personnel had embraced martyrdom, including 18 officers, 35 junior commissioned officers and 484 soldiers.

Opinion

Editorial

Reforming militants
24 Jul, 2024

Reforming militants

Such initiatives have been tried before, in Swat for instance, at centres run by the military as well as NGOs.
IPP debate
24 Jul, 2024

IPP debate

A FIERCE debate blaming the exorbitant electricity prices on expensive power purchase agreements with IPPs has been...
Political vendettas
24 Jul, 2024

Political vendettas

IT seems that the PML-N and PPP need to be reminded again that they are doing themselves a considerable disservice ...
Security concerns
23 Jul, 2024

Security concerns

All stakeholders want what is best for the country and its people; their differing approaches shouldn’t be viewed with such suspicion all the time.
Frankfurt vandalism
23 Jul, 2024

Frankfurt vandalism

THE state needs to seek serious answers from the German authorities regarding the July 20 mob attack targeting...
Stressed cotton economy
23 Jul, 2024

Stressed cotton economy

DECREASING cotton production should be a worry for the government because of its socioeconomic implications. Early...