PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban faction Jamaat-ur-Ahrar on Friday claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at Mardan's district courts in which at least 14 people were killed and 52 others injured.
Six lawyers and two policemen were among the dead. The attack is the second in the space of hours in the region.
"First there was a small blast followed by a big blast,"chief rescue officer in Mardan Haris Habib said, adding that, "So far we recovered 14 bodies of the lawyers, police personnel and civilians."
The attacker lobbed a hand grenade at the entrance of the court before exploding himself at the main gate of Mardan district courts, DPO Mardan told The Express Tribune.
Five killed in Peshawar Christian Colony attack; one civilian among dead
Meanwhile, police officials confirmed that the suicide bomber had between seven and eight kilogrammes of explosives on his body.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Friday's latest bombing would "not shatter our unflinching resolve in our war against terrorism".
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan strongly condemned the blasts and has expressed sympathy with the bereaved families.
Earlier today, at least four terrorists were killed in what appears to be a failed attack at Christian Colony near Warsak Dam on the outskirts of Peshawar.
At least nine injured in Mardan suicide attack
One resident of the colony named Simon has been killed and two security guards and a police constable are also said to be seriously wounded in the attack.
At least four terrorists tried to enter Chrisitan Colony in Warsak village near Warsak Dam where an Army air defence unit is also stationed.
The security guards and police deployed at the gate of the Christian Colony exchanged fire with terrorists and in the gun battle all four terrorists were killed.
“There are four bodies of terrorists and they look like suicide bombers as some of them are in pieces. One Chrisitan has been killed while two private security guards Khud Ali and Najeem and one police constable Sajjad have been wounded seriously,” said a police official on the condition of anonymity.
Army chief inquires after blast victims
Meanwhile, Army chief General Raheel Sharif visited the Mardan Medical Complex and inquired after the injured victims of the blast. He also directed the authorities concerned to provide best medical care to those admitted at the hospital.
Speaking on the occasion, the army chief said the scourge of terrorism will be eradicated completely, saying the entire nation was united for this cause.
Imran meets Gen Raheel
PTI chairman Imran Khan briefly met General Raheel at the helipad in Mardan where the two leaders had arrived to visit those injured in the terrorist attack.
According to Express News, Imran said there was a lack of implementation on National Action Plan and stressed Fata reforms to plug loopholes for terrorism. Fata should be included in K-P, and reforms should be implemented on a fast-track basis, he added.