Five killed, 50 hurt in suicide attack outside Peshawar court

Five killed, 50 hurt in suicide attack outside Peshawar court

Five killed, 50 hurt in suicide attack outside Peshawar court

A Pakistani man removes a gas cylinder from a burning rickshaw after a suicide bombing in Peshawar on Monday. AP

The bomber, who came to the court complex in a rickshaw, tried to flee when he was challenged by police, said North West Frontier Province Senior Minister Bashir Bilour.
He blew himself up when police fired at him, the minister told reporters at the site of the blast.

Five persons were killed in the blast, Bilour said. Nearly 50 injured people were taken to nearby hospitals.

Doctors said six of them were in a serious condition.

Several policemen, lawyers and passers-by were among the injured. Bilour said there would have been more casualties if the bomber had managed to enter the sessions court complex on Jail Road, a high-security area.

To a question about claims that India and the US were behind such attacks, he said, "no Americans or RAW agents are carrying out these blasts".

The sessions court complex is located a short distance from a hostel for provincial legislators, Peshawar Museum, provincial home department, Central Jail and Governor's House.

The explosion sparked a fire that destroyed the auto-rickshaw used by the bomber and several cars.

An official of the bomb disposal squad said investigators had found the head and body parts of the bomber and parts of the suicide jacket.

Police cordoned off the area and sealed key roads as ambulances took the injured to nearby hospitals. An emergency was declared in the hospitals.

Peshawar has borne the brunt of a wave of terrorist attacks across Pakistan.

In the past few weeks, car bombs and suicide attackers have targeted public places, police check posts and security facilities in Peshawar, including the provincial headquarters of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Hundreds have died in these attacks.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the blast. He directed authorities to conduct an inquiry into the incident.