November 19, 2009 - Peshawar court explosion kills 16. A bomb blast outside the main gate of a court building in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar has killed 16 people, and injured 26 others.
The court is located on the busy Khyber Road and the area is generally crowded during the morning. Last week a car bomb targeted Pakistani intelligence offices on the same road, just a couple of kilometres west.
The building is also close to the Pearl Continental Hotel, which was targeted by a truck bomb earlier this year. More than 100 people were killed in a blast at a market in Peshawar last month.
Attacks across Pakistan have increased dramatically as the army continues its offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan near the Afghan border.
The head of the Peshawar city administration, Sahibzada Anees, told reporters that a suicide bomber had carried out the attack. "The bomber blew himself up when he was being body searched by a police guard at the gate of the court complex," he said.
Dr Sahib Gul, head of Lady Reading Hospital, said 16 bodies had been brought to the hospital. Three of the dead are policemen while the rest are thought to be civilians. A bomb disposal squad official said the bomber used eight to 10kg of explosives.
Several vehicles were destroyed in the blast. Security officials have cordoned off the area and Khyber Road has been closed for traffic. The city on the Afghan border has been targeted repeatedly in the recent times.
Last Friday, a suicide car bomb attack on the office of Pakistan's main intelligence agency ISI on the same road killed at least 12 people and injured 40 others. And on 28 October, at least 100 people were killed after a huge car bomb ripped through Peshawar's busy Peepal Mandi market.
The attacks come as Pakistan is carrying out an offensive in South Waziristan, which is considered to be one of the main sanctuaries for Islamic militants outside Afghanistan. Security has been stepped up across Pakistan, but correspondents say the government still appears to be unable to stop the attacks.