A blast occurred near the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office on Nisatta Road in Pakistan’s Mardan city on Tuesday, killing at least 21 people and leaving over 50 injured.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar, which was also behind last year’s blast at Wagah border, claimed responsibility for the blast.
Around 8 kg to 10 kg of explosive material was used in the attack, officials of the Bomb Disposal Unit said.
Rescue 1122 sources said the blast took place when the office was crowded with people.
Deputy Inspector General Mardan Division Saeed Wazir told DawnNews it was a “suicide attack carried out by a bomber”.
The DIG added that a security guard posted at the office stopped the bomber at the gate, after which the man detonated his suicide vest. The suicide attacker was on a motorbike and rammed it into the gate after being denied entry, he said.
Conflicting reports suggest that explosives may have been planted on a motorcycle parked near the Nadra office.
The area has been cordoned off as rescue and security sources rushed to the site. The injured are being shifted to Mardan Medical Complex, where an emergency has been declared.
The District Police Officer Mardan said it is too early to determine the nature of the blast at this time.
The office is located on the link road that connects Charsadda to Multan.
Mardan, which is situated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, has seen several terrorist attacks over the past several years — many of them targeting security officials.