MARDAN (Web Desk / AFP) – At least 22 people were killed and more than 30 injured when a suicide bomber on a motorbike crashed into the main gate of National Database and Registration Office (NADRA) office in the northwest Pakistan town of Mardan.
“It was a suicide bomber riding on a motorbike. The death toll could rise,” Faisal Shahzad, district police chief of Mardan city where the blast occurred, told AFP.
Security guard Pervaiz tried to stop the suicide bomber at main gate when the attacker detonated his vest.The blast ripped through the front entrance of a regional branch of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) which is responsible for issuing ID cards.
The loud explosion also damaged the building and shattered windows of several vehicles.A heavy contingent of law enforcement personnel also arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area.
According to bomb disposal squad, eight kilograms of explosives were used in the blast.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack. He expressed deep grief and sorrow over loss of innocent lives in the attack and prayed for eternal peace for the departed souls.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack
Pak Army has been battling a homegrown insurgency since 2004 after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan caused militants to flee across the border where they began to foment unrest.
More than 27,000 civilians and security forces personnel have died in terror attacks since that time, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, a monitoring site.
Overall levels of violence dropped significantly in 2015 following a nationwide crackdown on militants that involved major offensives in the semi-autonomous tribal areas and the country s biggest city of Karachi.
The crackdown came in the aftermath of a Taliban school massacre in December 2014, in which more than 150 people, mainly schoolchildren were killed.