Coordinated gunfire and explosions rocked a courthouse in Charsadda district in north-western Pakistan on Tuesday (21 February). At least three suicide bombers tried to enter the court building and one of them blew himself up at the entrance of the building.

Two other attackers were killed by security forces before they could enter the premise. So far, six people have been reported killed while more than 20 were injured in the onslaught. Local reports suggest a lawyer was among the victims. There were two judges and court proceedings were underway when the attack was carried out.

The number of casualties was confirmed by the District mayor Fahad Riaz. The injured are being treated at the Tangi hospital while a state of emergency was declared in all hospitals in the area.

"One suicide bomber blew himself up at the gate of the local court. The other two terrorists have been killed by the police," said court official, Sohail Khalid.

The attackers reportedly hurled hand grenades and opened fire, which prompted retaliatory fire from the police and security forces present at court.

"I escaped towards the canteen and climbed the wall to save my life. But there were many people dead and injured,"a local resident Mohammad Shah Baz said, according to the BBC.

Pakistan's Taliban faction Jamaat-ur-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for the attack. The country has seen a wave of bombings in recent times. Around 80 people died last week at a shrine in the southern town of Sehwan when a suicide bomber blew himself up.

Pakistan blast
Policemen stand guard at a courthouse after an attack by suicide bombers in Charsadda, Pakistan February 21, 2017REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz