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Blast kills eight, injures 21 in NW Pakistan: police

Pakistani security personnel and volunteers move victims injured in a suicide bombing to a hospital in Peshawar on March 7, 2016, after an attack on a court complex in the town of Shabqadar. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a court complex in northwest Pakistan, killing at least eight people and injuring 21, police said. HASHAM AHMED / AFP

Pakistani security personnel and volunteers move victims injured in a suicide bombing to a hospital in Peshawar on March 7, 2016, after an attack on a court complex in the town of Shabqadar. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a court complex in northwest Pakistan, killing at least eight people and injuring 21, police said. HASHAM AHMED / AFP

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a court complex in northwest Pakistan Monday, killing at least eight people and injuring 21, police said.

The bomber attacked as lawyers and litigants were arriving during the morning rush hour in the town of Shabqadar.

“A suicide bomber blew up himself inside the court complex. So far eight people have been killed and 21 others are injured,” Fayaz Khan, a senior police official in the area, told AFP.

Sohail Khalid, district police chief in Charsadda district where Shabqadar is located, confirmed the suicide attack and said two of the dead were policemen.

“We are investigating the nature of the blast. According to initial reports, a suicide bomber entered the complex and a policeman on duty tried to stop him but he blew himself up,” Khalid said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.

Local TV channels shown footage of injured being rushed to hospitals soon after the blast.

Shabqadar is near the Mohmand tribal district, one of seven semi-autonomous regions bordering Afghanistan where militants from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban had established bases in the past.

Islamabad launched a military offensive in the tribal areas in 2014 that has reportedly killed thousands of militants and pushed the rest over the border to Afghanistan, resulting in improved security inside Pakistan.

However, insurgents associated with Pakistan’s homegrown Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan occasionally carry out attacks from bases in Afghanistan.

Shabqadar is some 30 kilometres (18 miles) west of Charsadda, where extremists attacked a university on January 20 in a rampage that left 21 dead.



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