At least 16 people, including three police personnel were killed in a suicide attack in Shabqadar Bazaar of Charsadda district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday.
A suicide bomber was attempting to enter a district court as a security personnel, identified as Shabbir, intercepted him outside the court’s premises, which prompted him to blow himself up, Charsadda DPO Sohail Khalid told The Express Tribune.
A spokesperson for the Lady Reading Hospital confirmed 16 people were killed and 25 others injured.
Official death tallies showed there were at least six women among the dead.
Saeed Wazir, another police official confirmed it was a suicide attack.
Witnesses described a huge explosion at the scene.
“We were sitting with a lawyer when a huge explosion took place in the sessions court,” said Gohar Khan, a local police official who was at the scene.
Security officials and rescue teams were dispatched to the scene while a search operation was underway in the area.
Television footage showed widespread damage and the charred remains of at least two vehicles at the scene.
Shabqadar, located about 150 kilometres northwest of Islamabad, is adjacent to the Mohmand tribal area, which has seen several attacks in recent days.
Meanwhile, the COAS while expressing condolences to the bereaved families of the blast paid rich tributes to the sacrifice and bravery of police Havaldar Naseem who laid his life in the line of duty, said the ISPR.
On March 1, a remote-controlled roadside bomb targeted a convoy of vehicles travelling in Mohmand, killing two Pakistani employees of the United States Consulate in nearby Peshawar.
About two weeks earlier, on Feb 18, Taliban gunmen killed nine paramilitary personnel in two separate attacks on check posts in Mohmand. Both earlier attacks were claimed by the Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a proscribed militant group.