Suicide bombers kill 5 outside court in northwest Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A group of suicide bombers struck outside a courthouse in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing five people in an attack claimed by a Taliban splinter group.

The attack was the latest in a wave of militant assaults across the troubled country that has killed over 100 people since last week. The brazen suicide bombings have been claimed by various Islamic militant groups, including the breakaway Taliban faction.

In Tuesday’s attack, three attackers hit the courthouse in the town of in Tangi in the Charsadda district.

One of the bombers detonated his suicide vest at the court’s main gate while police shot and killed the two other assailants, according to the district police chief, Sohail Khalid. The other two also wore suicide vests but had notr managed to set them off before being gunned down.

Khalid said 15 people were wounded in the attack and taken to hospital.

The Pakistani Taliban breakaway Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack in a text message sent to an Associated Press reporter.

In one of the attacks last week, dozens of worshippers gathered at a famed Sufi shrine were killed when an Islamic State suicide bomber walked into the shrine’s main hall in the southern Sindh province and detonated his explosives on Thursday. The death toll from that attack has since risen to 90.

The shrine bombing prompted a countrywide crackdown by security forces targeting militants and their hideouts.

Pakistan has been at war with Islamic militants for more than a decade. In recent years it has launched major offensives against militant strongholds in the tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan, but insurgents have continued to carry out attacks elsewhere in the country.


Associated Press Writer Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, and Asif Shahzad in Islamabad contributed to this report.