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11 killed in suicide bomb attack outside court in Pakistan

Published 07/03/2016

Seven people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked the entrance to a court in north-western Pakistan
Seven people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked the entrance to a court in north-western Pakistan

Eleven people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked the entrance to a court in north-western Pakistan, police said.

Another 15 people were injured in the blast in the town of Shabqadar on Monday, said police official Ali Jan Khan. Two policemen and a policewoman were among the dead, he said.

The attacker tried to enter the court premises where police stopped him, said another officer, Saeed Khan Wazir.

The bomber opened fire at the officers and started running toward the courtrooms where a large number of lawyers and their clients were present, he said.

A policeman began fighting the attacker, who then detonated his explosives, Mr Wazir said.

A group affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban and calling itself Jamat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility. The local Taliban branch or its allied militant groups have been waging a war against the state for more than a decade, killing tens of thousands of people.

Shabqadar is in Charsadda district, where four suicide bombers from a Pakistani Taliban-linked group killed 21 students and teachers on January 20.

The town is on the edge of the Mohmand tribal region bordering Afghanistan, where two Pakistanis working with the US Consulate in the north-western city of Peshawar were killed by a roadside bomb while on a mission to eradicate drug cultivation on March 1. That attack was also claimed by Jamat-ul-Ahrar.

The court bombing was an attack on the judiciary which gives verdicts against God's divine laws, said Ahrar's spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan in a statement emailed to an Associated Press reporter.

It was a revenge for the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri who was executed last week for the 2011 killing of a provincial governor.

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