PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide bomber blew himself up in a courtroom on Monday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing four people and wounding more than 40 others, officials said.
The bomber and an accomplice had attacked the back of the court compound and were confronted by three guards, said police officer Masood Afridi. The militants shot and wounded the policemen but not before one of the guards gunned down one of the suicide bombers.
The other bomber managed to get into the courtroom of a female judge and detonated his explosives, said Afridi.
Four people were killed and 47 wounded in the attack, said Habib Arif, a senior government official in Peshawar. Twenty of the wounded were discharged from the hospital, while 27 remain under treatment, said Arif.
The female judge was among the wounded, said a police officer, Mohammad Arshad Khan.
The attackers may have been trying to free militant colleagues jailed at the compound, said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where Peshawar is the provincial capital.
Peshawar is on the border of Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region, a sanctuary for Taliban militants who have been waging a bloody insurgency against the government.