NEW DELHI: At least 13 people were killed and another 41 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance of the district and sessions court in Mardan, Peshawar on Friday.

The Jamaatul Ahrar (JA) claimed responsibility for the attack. The suicide attack comes just hours after an attack in Peshawar’s Christian colony earlier the same day. The attackers were killed by security forces Friday morning, with one civilian also being killed in the crossfire.

Hours later in Mardan district an attacker threw a hand grenade before detonating his suicide vest. District Police Officer (DPO) Mardan Faisal Shahzad was quoted by Dawn News saying that the bomb contained 8 kilograms of explosive material. "Police fired at the attacker, then the second explosion took place," the DPO said. "The attacker was deterred by the firing. His plan was to get inside," he added.

At the time of writing, at least 13 people were confirmed dead, with the death toll likely to rise. An emergency has been imposed at hospitals in the area.

This is the second major attack targeting people from the legal community in Pakistan, with 70 people being killed in Quetta on an attack on the city civil hospital in early August. The attack took place as the body of a prominent lawyer, Bilal Anwar Kasi, shot dead earlier in the day was being brought in -- with most of those killed being from the legal fraternity.

Both Islamic State and the JA claimed responsibility for the attack.

Peshawar, too, has increasingly faced attacks, with the most brutal terror incident taking place in December 2014 when Taliban gunmen massacred more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school. Since then, however, there’s been a lull in the violence in the province, with the most recent major attack being in March as bomb ripped through a bus carrying government employees, killing 15.

The latest attacks, however, come a day after Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa gave an update on the military response to terrorism in the country. Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the General said, has killed 3500 terrorists since it was launched in 2014.

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