Gunmen armed with guns and explosives attacked a compound on Wednesday that houses a regional office of Pakistan‘s top spy agency, killing three people and wounding more than three dozen others, officials said.
The attack started when a suicide bomber rammed a car filled with explosives into a wall of the Government compound in Sukkur district in southern Sindh Province, intelligence officials said. A second suicide bomber blew himself up inside the compound, while three colleagues battled security forces with guns and hand grenades, the officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.
Television footage aired after the attack showed damaged buildings and ambulance crews taking the wounded to local hospitals.
Pakistani Interior Ministry spokesman Omar Hamid Khan said the regional office of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency appeared to be the target, although other Government agencies also have offices in the compound.
Three people were killed and 37 wounded, said Javid Odho, a deputy inspector general of police. All five attackers died as well, he said.
Two of the people killed in the attack worked for the spy agency, intelligence officials said. One was a civilian who had recently been promoted to deputy director of the office and the other was a low-level Army official who was posted to the intelligence agency, the officials said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion likely will fall on the Pakistani Taliban, which has been waging a bloody insurgency against the Government for years that has killed thousands of security personnel and civilians. The group has carried out attacks in many parts of the country, although attacks in Sukkur are rare.
The intelligence office had been receiving threats for quite a few months, leading the agency to shift a major interrogation center to another facility, the intelligence officials said.
Khan said police were investigating to see whether the spy agency was holding any important detainees at the office when it was attacked.