PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: At least 21 people were killed and over 40 others sustained injuries when a powerful blast occurred near the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office on Nisatta Road in Mardan on Tuesday.
Rescue 1122 sources that rushed to the site of the attack said at least 21 people were killed in the blast which took place at a time the office was crowded with people lining up to make applications for National Identity Cards (NIC).
Deputy Inspector General Mardan Division Saeed Wazir said the blast 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 he 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.
According to initial reports, the powerful blast took place near the gate of the office and damaged doors and windows in the building.
The area was cordoned off as rescue and security personnel rushed to the site. The injured and deceased were shifted to Mardan Medical Complex, while an emergency was declared at all medical facilities in the area.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan condemned the blast and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families.
The interior minister also sought a report from the concerned officials.