Asia

Suicide bombers killed after targeting Pakistan court

Policemen stand guard outside the courthouse in Charsadda, Pakistan, on 21 February 2017 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The court was attacked as lawyers and staff gathered for the day

At least five people have been killed after suicide bombers tried to storm a courthouse in north-west Pakistan, police say.

The three bombers were also killed and more than 15 people wounded during the attack in Tangi, Charsadda district.

There was a 20-minute firefight at the gates to the courthouse complex.

The Pakistani Taliban group Jamaat-ur-Ahrar says it carried out the attack, the latest in a number of bombings to hit the country in recent days.

In the latest attack, the suicide bombers reportedly threw hand grenades and opened fire as they tried to enter the court premises.

They were kept back by police guards on duty and were eventually killed - two by their explosives belts, and the third by police.

Five police officers were injured in the battle.

One witness told Reuters he had seen "many" dead bodies.

"I escaped towards the canteen and climbed the wall to save my life," said local resident Mohammad Shah Baz. "But there were many people dead and injured."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The wounded were rushed to hospitals in the area
Image copyright AFP

Pakistan has been hit by a wave of suicide bomb attacks claimed by various Islamist militant groups in recent days.

Police now say 90 people were killed when a bomber blew himself up at a shrine in the southern town of Sehwan last week in an attack claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

In response, Pakistan launched a security crackdown - which included closing border crossings with Afghanistan - and claims it killed 100 militants.

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