MARDAN, Oct 31: Nine people, including four policemen, were killed and 24 others were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the office of a senior police officer here on Friday.

Police said the bomber tried to enter the office of DIG Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, who had just returned after attending a press briefing at DPO Muhammad Iqbal Khan’s office.

The man, aged between 20 and 25, was stopped for a body search but he blew himself up when he saw a police van coming out of the building. “There would have been more casualties if he had entered the office,” a police official said.

Two policemen and two civilians are in critical condition and have been sent to a hospital in Peshawar.

The deceased were identified as constables Adil, Tariq, Akhtarzada and Sher Nawaz and Zeeshan, Nasir, Sangeen and Hazrat Gul. The name of the fifth civilian could not be ascertained.

Police said that the bomber’s head and parts of his legs had been sent for DNA test.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack till Friday evening.

An emergency was declared at the District Headquarters Hospital and a large number of people went there to donate blood.

The DIG, who escaped unhurt, said the attack demonstrated militants’ frustration over the successes achieved by police in cooperation with people in their efforts to defeat militancy.

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