Suicide bombers stormed a high-security judicial complex-cum-prison in Peshawar on Monday, killing three people and injuring at least 30. Before one of them blew himself up and the other was gunned down by the police, the terrorists took some people hostage and engaged in a heavy gun battle with security personnel briefly.

Security officials suspect the purpose of the attack could have been to release of some terrorists imprisoned there. Though no outfit had claimed responsibility till late at night, there was speculation that the attack was part of terrorists’ agenda against women as the suicide bomber blew himself up in the courtroom of additional sessions judge Kalsoom Azam.

Since the last quarter of 2012, women have increasingly become the target of terrorists, be it teenager Malala Yousafzai or polio immunisation campaign workers.

This is not the first instance of terrorists striking at a prison facility with the likely intention of getting their associates released. Last April, terrorists had struck at the Bannu Central Jail in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa in the dead of night, managing to free over 400 prisoners, including one who had attempted to assassinate former President Pervez Musarraf.

Meanwhile, security forces in Karachi claimed they have arrested a former chief of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Qari Abdul Hayee alias Asadullah, wanted in the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl over a decade ago. Asadullah was arrested in the targeted operation that is being carried out in the metropolis against sectarian organisations.

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