At least 12 dead after bomb blasts outside court in Pakistan

Suicide bomber attacks morning crowds at district court in Mardan

At least 12 dead after bomb blasts outside court in Pakistan

Pakistani officials examine the site of the bombing in Mardan | Photo: PA Images

At least 12 people have been killed and 52 people injured after two bomb blasts outside a court in northwestern Pakistan.

Authorities said a suicide bomber attacked the morning crowds outside a district court in Mardan, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Senior police official Faisal Shehzad said the bomber threw hand grenades before detonating a suicide vest at the main gate.

Government spokesman Mushtaq Ghani said some of the wounded were in a critical condition. 

Rescue official Haris Habib said: "So far we recovered 12 bodies of the lawyers, police personnel and civilians.

"Besides this, we rescued 52 injured, including lawyers, police personnel and civilians from the spot."

Earlier, a group of militants attacked a Christian neighbourhood near Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar. 

The military said four attackers and one Christian died in a shootout which followed. 

Three security officials and two civilian guards were also wounded in the attack. 

Local police official Shaukat Khan said a quick response from the local civilian guards and security forces prevented more deaths.

Security forces are searching for any accomplices.

Pakistan's army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif praised security forces for foiling the attack.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for either attack.

Yesterday, the military said it foiled a bid by Islamic State to expand its network in Pakistan, by arresting 309 suspects, including IS members from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.