Militant gunmen and at least one suicide bomber attacked a court complex in northwestern Pakistan today, killing at least three people and wounding more than two dozen, a government official said. The attackers may have been trying to free militant colleagues jailed on the premises of the compound in Peshawar, said local minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain. Security forces waged a gun battle with the militants, and Hussain initially suggested that the attackers may have taken some hostages. He later said the situation was under control, without providing details.
The wounded included a female judge, said a local police officer. The area has been cordoned off, and elite commandos have been sent in to deal with the attackers, he said. Local TV footage showed people running for safety. Injured people were being assisted by others to escape. They included a pair of policemen, a lawyer, and other civilians, including one man whose clothes had been torn to shreds. Police commandos and army soldiers rushed toward the complex, as the injured were shifted to stretchers and taken to the hospital. Peshawar is located on the border of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region, the main sanctuary for Taliban militants.