A suicide bomber used a gun to shoot his way past security at a courthouse in Mardan in northern Pakistan before throwing a hand grenade and detonating his explosives Friday. The attack left at least 12 dead and 50 injured.
Policemen and lawyers were included in those slain. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.
"I started picking up the wounded and putting them in cars to take them to hospital — I did not know if the people I was rescuing were dead or alive," said Mardan Bar Association president Amir Hussain, ABC News reported. He was in the building, but survived the attack.
"Police fired at the attacker, then the second explosion took place," a deputy inspector general told local newspaper Dawn.
"The attacker was deterred by the firing," the DIG, whose name was not included in the report, added. "His plan was to get inside."
Mardan Region Police's Facebook page posted tributes to the three policemen who died trying to stop the assailant, including pictures of their bodies at their funeral. Islamic tradition involves conducting a funeral as soon as possible.
Warning: This Facebook post contains graphic images.
The bombing at the courthouse is not incongruous with recent attacks, where bastions of law and order have been targeted. A group of lawyers were killed in Quetta — a city in the Pakistani province of Balochistan — last month from a suicide bombing that left at least 70 people dead and 120 wounded.
"[Lawyers are] an important part of democracy and these terrorists are opposed to democracy," Hussain said of militants targeting the legal community, according to BBC.
"Our morale is not dented," Hussain added. "It is still high."
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar also claimed responsibility for a failed attack on a Christian colony in Peshawar, northern Pakistan, in the early hours of Friday.
Four armed assailants wearing suicide vests attempted to raid the area, killing one citizen before being shot and killed by security guards.