Pakistani security officials examine the site at the entrance of a hospital in Kotlan Saidan village in Dera Ismail Khan. Adil Mughal/AFP
• Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility for the attack
• Dera Ismail Khan has seen a number of suicide attacks over the past decade
A female suicide bomber in northwestern Pakistan killed at least eight people and wounded 26 more in an attack outside a local civilian hospital on Sunday, local officials said.
The attack in Dera Ismail Khan early on Sunday was claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, often known as the Pakistani Taliban, which is separate from the insurgent movement across the border in Afghanistan.
"When their bodies were taken to the main hospital, a suicide bomber, believed to be a female, wearing a burqa, triggered an explosive-laden jacket and caused huge losses.
Local officials said the attack happened after two police were killed at a roadside checkpoint outside the city.
"When their bodies were taken to the main hospital, a suicide bomber, believed to be a female, wearing a burqa, triggered an explosive-laden jacket and caused huge losses," said Waqar Ahmad, a local police officer.
He said the blast had damaged the emergency ward of the hospital and forced some of the wounded to be transferred to other cities.
Muhammed Khurasani, a spokesman for the TTP, claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said was carried out in revenge for the killing of two Taliban commanders by counter terrorism police around a month ago. However he denied the bomber was female.
Dera Ismail Khan has seen a number of suicide attacks over the past decade as the Pakistani military carried out a campaign to suppress militant attacks in the area, an important hub in the $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Wreckage of vehicles littered the pavement near the shrine as first responders rushed to the scene and armed security forces fanned out in the area.
"As we crossed the road a blast took place in front of us," witness Ritat Shahid told AFP.
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai also defended the Taliban's role in recent bloodshed across the country after US President Donald Trump cited an attack that killed an American soldier as his reason for calling off negotiations earlier this month.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) expressed its utter denunciation of the Taliban-claimed attacks, which included the targeting of an electoral rally of President Ashraf Ghani in Parwan Province and the bombing of an army base in Kabul.
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