MARDAN/ Agencies: At least 21 people are feared to be dead, and 49 have been reported injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the NADRA building on Tuesday.
The suicide bomber tried to enter the building, but when the guard stopped him he blew himself up. Security officials claims that 8 to 10 kilos of explosive material was used.
Rescue services reached the spot. The injured have been rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.
The dead include two NADRA officials and a child.
DIG Mardan said that Tehrik-e-Taliban had handed out threatening letters to the authorities, where five buildings were targeted. The NADRA building was not in the list.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but Pakistan is fighting Taliban and other insurgents in its northwest border regions, who often target government and security forces.
“It was a suicide bomber riding on a motorbike. The death toll could rise,” Faisal Shahzad, district police chief told AFP.
Ali Khan, a doctor at the district headquarters hospital confirmed the death toll and placed the number of injured at “more than 40”.
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.
Pakistan’s army has been battling a homegrown Islamist 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.