At least four bystanders were killed in an attack on a Christian neighborhood in the Pakistani city of Peshawar Friday, according to the Pakistan’s military and police.
Another five were injured.
Four suicide bombers, who were also equipped with arms and ammunition, entered the neighborhood after attacking a security guard in the early morning, Peshawar Police Superintendent Kashif Zulfikar told CNN.
Security forces responded, exchanging fire and killing the four assailants, according to a statement from the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Public Relations department (ISPR).
A house-to-house search is currently underway and the situation is under control, the ISPR says.
“We have enhanced the security of Christians establishments, schools, hospitals, colonies and churches,” said Zulfikar.
A Pakistani Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the attack in an emailed statement.
“If Islamic law is not imposed across the country, such attacks will continue to be carried out,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, two people were killed and another 18 were wounded by a pair of explosions in the nearby city of Mardan, the district police officer of Mardan, Faisal Shahzad, told CNN.
Senior Police Superintendent Shafiullah Khan said an attacker threw a hand grenade at the gate of a district court.
After security prevented him from getting inside, the attacker blew himself up, Khan said.