16 killed in blast in NW Pakistan's Peshawar

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A suicide bomber killed at least 16 people and injured 36 others in the Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Thursday, officials and hospital sources said.

Sixteen bodies and 36 injured were brought to the hospital, Medical Superintendent in main Lady Readings Hospital Sahib Gul told reporters in the hospital premises.

District Coordination Officer Sahibzada Anis said that the suicide bomber detonated his explosive packed jacket when intercepted by police while trying to enter the main gate of the judicial complex.

The official said that three policemen and two lawyers were among those killed in the attack, the 8th in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province, in a month.

The condition of five persons was stated to be very critical. Five vehicles in the parking area were destroyed.

Police said that eight to 10 kgs of explosives were used in the blast.

There are some important offices of the secret agency, Governor house and Chief Minister house in the area.

Khyber Road has been closed for traffic after the incident. Police have cordoned off the area.

All schools in Peshawar were closed after the blast.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. The government blames suspected Taliban militants in the attack.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly deplored the suicide attack in Peshawar.

In their messages, Gilani and Zardari vowed to continue struggle against militancy and ruled out to surrender to insurgents at any cost. The two leaders issued orders of investigation into the brutal attack, sources said.

Peshawar has seen a wave of bombings over the last couple of weeks as the army presses an offensive against the Taliban in the nearby Afghan border region.

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