Female suicide bomber kills nine at hospital
A female suicide bomber struck outside a hospital in Pakistan as the wounded were being brought in from an earlier shooting against police, in an assault that killed nine and injured 30.
Salim Riaz Khan, a senior police officer in Dera Ismail Khan, said gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on police in a residential area, killing two. The bomber then struck at the entrance to the hospital, killing another four police and three civilians who were visiting their relatives. Eight police were among the wounded and many are in critical condition.
Inayat Ullah, a local forensics expert, said the female attacker set off 7kg of explosives packed with nails and ball-bearings.
The blast damaged the emergency room and forced it to shut down.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed the attack but did not mention that the bomber was a woman.
The group has launched scores of attacks going back two decades, but almost all of them were carried out by men.
The country's military has carried out several major operations in recent years against the Pakistani Taliban and other militants in areas along the porous border with Afghanistan. Police said they later arrested 16 suspects in the attack.