At least 14 people were killed and more than 50 wounded after a suicide bomber attacked a court in the Pakistani city of Mardan Friday, police said, the latest assault targeting Pakistan’s legal community.
The bomber shot his way through the main gate leading to the district court, before throwing a hand grenade and detonating his suicide vest among the morning crowds, senior police official Ejaz Khan told reporters.
Rescuers picked their way through scattered human remains and blood-stained office equipment and files to collect survivors, witnesses said.
Amir Hussain, president of the Mardan Bar Association, said he was in a room nearby when the bomb detonated.
“There was dust everywhere, and people were crying loud with pain,” he said.
His suit drenched in blood, he added: “I started picking up the wounded and putting them in cars to take them to hospital. I did not know if the people I was rescuing were dead or alive.”
Lawyers were being targeted because they are “an important part of democracy, and these terrorists are opposed to democracy,” he said.
“Our morale is not dented. It is still high,” he added.
Nasir Khan Durrani, provincial police chief, told AFP the death toll had reached 14, with at least 58 people wounded, three of whom were critical.
Officials said the bomber had up to 8kg of explosives packed into his vest, while the dead included lawyers and police.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes three weeks after a massive suicide blast killed scores of lawyers in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, in Balochistan.