Six dead as suicide bombers target courthouse

A group of suicide bombers armed with grenades and assault rifles have attacked a courthouse in north-western Pakistan, killing six people.

The attack, claimed by a Taliban splinter group, was the latest in a wave of militant assaults across the country which have killed more than 100 people since last week.

The suicide bombings have been claimed by mutiple Islamic militant groups.

In today's assault, three attackers hit the courthouse in the town of Tangi, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bordering Afghanistan.

The victims included a lawyer, a child and four police officers, according to Ijaz Khan, a senior police officer.

He said police were on maximum alert after receiving intelligence that terrorists could target the courts in Charsadda.

One of the bombers threw grenades and detonated his suicide vest at the court's main gate while police shot and killed the other two, according to district police chief Sohail Khalid.

The other two attackers also wore suicide vests but did not set them off before being gunned down.

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

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed the attack.

In one of the attacks last week, dozens of worshippers were killed at a Sufi shrine when an Islamic State suicide bomber detonated his device inside the shrine's main hall in the southern province of Sindh.

The death toll from that attack has reached 90.

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

Pakistan's army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa praised police for foiling the latest attack and "saving many lives", according to the military statement.

Mian Saqib Nisar, the chief justice of Pakistan, strongly condemned the attack in a statement and expressed his condolences for families who lost loved ones.

Meanwhile, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, told reporters that fresh talks with the militants cannot be ruled out. "Talks can be held with everyone, including the Taliban," he said.

But he maintained: "We will not bow before the terrorists."

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