Both attacks were claimed by Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a breakaway Pakistani Taliban faction believed to be behind some of the past year’s deadliest attacks, including last month’s bombing of lawyers in the city of Quetta that killed 74 people.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Friday’s latest bombing would “not shatter our unflinching resolve in our war against terrorism”.
“These receding elements are showing frustration by attacking our soft targets. They shall not get space to hide in Pakistan,” Sharif said in a statement.
Jamaat-ur-Ahrar’s spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, vowed to stage more attacks in a statement sent to Reuters. “We appeal to civilians to remain away from law enforcement installations and these un-Islamic courts. We will target them more,” he said.
More than 20 people were killed in an attack in December on a government office in Mardan, which was also claimed by Jamaat-ur-Ahrar. Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, which has targeted Christians in the past, claimed responsibility within hours of the attack.
The Islamist group, which briefly declared allegiance to Middle East-based Islamic State in 2014 but recently said it was no longer affiliated with them, also staged the Easter Day attack on Christians in a park in Lahore that killed 72 people including at least 29 children.
The area is near Warsak Dam, 20 km (12 miles) north-west of Peshawar. The official said the attackers might have been attempting to enter an adjacent security installation by exploiting weaker security arrangements in the residential area.
Christians, who number around 2 million in a nation of 190 million people, have been the target of a series of attacks in recent years. -Reuters