Blast kills 26 people; Pakistani Taliban faction claims responsibility

Story highlights

  • The TTP Jamaat ul Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claim responsibility
  • The group has vowed more attacks until Sharia law is fully implemented in Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan (CNN)At least 26 people were killed in a blast Tuesday in the northern Pakistani city of Mardan, police said.

The explosion took place at the city's National Database and Registration Authority offices -- where Pakistanis get ID cards and passports.
Several other people were injured in the attack, said Saad Wazir of the Mardan police.
    Police believe a suicide bomber drove his motorcycle into the office building.
    Shortly afterward, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban -- the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan Jamaat ul Ahrar -- claimed responsibility.
    "We attacked the National Database Registration Authority office because it plays an essential role in this war," said a statement signed by the group's spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan.
    "Any Pakistani institution that is involved in this war will continue to be a target for us going forward."
    The Pakistani Taliban, known as the TTP, share the same religious extremist ideology as their Afghan namesake but are a distinct group.
    The TTP have been fighting to overthrow Pakistan's government via a terrorist campaign, according to the U.S. State Department.
      In October, the TTP Jamaat ul Ahrar claimed responsibility for the bombing of a political office for the country's ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.
      Shortly after that attack, Ehsan vowed the attacks would continue until Sharia law was fully implemented in Pakistan.