Pakistan: Attack on court complex kills 4


Pakistani police officials scan the site of a suicide bomb attack on the vehicle of senior investigator Hilal Haider, in Peshawar on Nov. 7, 2012. A suicide bomber blew himself up in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 4 people including a senior police officer, officials said.


A. Majeed

At least four people have been killed and 30 injured in a militant attack on a Pakistan court and prison complex in Peshawar.

According to BBC News, one of the attackers was shot dead by police and another blew himself up in a courtroom, injuring a female judge and killing at least two court officials. It is unclear if the target was the court or the adjoining jail.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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The attack also instigated a gun battle with security forces during which the militants briefly held hostages, reported The New York Times. Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the attackers may have been trying to free fellow extremists being held in the complex.

According to The Guardian, TV footage showed people running for safety and helping the injured, including two police officers, a lawyer and several civilians. Police officers and army soldiers rushed toward the complex as the injured were placed on stretchers and taken to hospitals.

The Times said that judges, court officials and other civilians hid in the court's basement and locked the doors from the inside.

BBC News also noted that the same court was attacked by suicide bombers in 2009, when at least 19 people were killed.

Almost 400 prisoners escaped from another prison in the town of Bannu after it was attacked by militants last April as well.