A group of terrorists stormed a judicial complex in the restive Peshawar city of northwest Pakistan on Monday, injuring at least 17 people, including four policemen, officials and witnesses said.
The terrorists lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately after entering the judicial complex from an entrance at the rear at about 12:30 pm (local time), witnesses said.
The terrorists also exchanged fire with security personnel within the complex. Seventeen people, including four policemen, four lawyers and a woman, were injured in the attack.
They were taken to the nearby LadyReadingHospital, where officials described the condition of two persons as serious. Witnesses said the terrorists were holed up in the complex and exchanging fire intermittently with policemen.
A large contingent of policemen and army soldiers surrounded the judicial complex at Khyber Road, which is a high-security area. Footage on television showed people fleeing in panic from the complex as soldiers took up positions on a nearby road. Some lawyers were seen helping carry an injured colleague out of the complex, which is located a short distance from the official residences of top army officials.
Some lawyers were seen helping carry an injured colleague out of the complex, located a short distance from the Central Jail and official residences of top army officials.
Several rooms within the judicial complex were damaged by explosions, which blew out windows and walls. Debris lay scattered in several courtrooms.
No group claimed responsibility for the assault though such attacks are usually blamed on the Pakistani Taliban. Information Minister Hussain said it was not clear if the attack was carried out to free anyone being held at the jail within the judicial complex.
He said the attack was an attempt to destroy the peaceful atmosphere ahead of polls. The Khyber Pakthunkhwa Bar Council has called for a strike on Tuesday the protest the attack.