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Blast in Pakistan as suicide bombers storm into Charsadda court, Taliban faction claims attack

Suicide bombers attacked a court complex in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least four people, officials said, in the latest incident in a new surge of Islamist violence.

A spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban's Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction claimed responsibility for the attack in the northwestern town of Charsadda.

The district administration said at least four people were killed. A witness told Reuters he had seen "many" dead bodies at the scene.

Town resident Mohammad Shah Baz told Reuters he was inside the judicial complex when the suicide bombers stormed it.

"I escaped towards the canteen and climbed the wall to save my life. But there were many people dead and injured," he said.

District police chief Sohail Khalid said at least one of the attackers blew himself up and another opened fire at the main entrance of the court compound before they were shot and killed.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar spokesperson Asad Mansoor claimed responsibility the attack in a message to journalists. He said fighting was still going on at the court.

Security forces and police personnel have cordoned off the area. Deputy commissioner of Charsadda said the area has put on high alert.

At least three attackers attempted to enter the court premises through the main gate. They opened fire and also threw hand grenades, prompting retaliatory fire by police and security forces deployed at the court.

Pakistan has been hit by a series of brazen suicide bombings last week that were claimed by various Islamic militant groups and that killed over 100 people.

Pakistani has stepped up security after a suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State left 81 dead at a crowded Sufi shrine. Thursday's attack at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh province was preceded by suicide attacks in Lahore and the northwest.
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