Militant gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a Christian colony near Peshawar on Friday and killed one Christian and injuring five other people.

The attack triggered a shootout in which four attackers were killed, along with one christian and three security officials and two civilian guards were injured.

A local police official said one of the four suicide bombers went into a church, but found it empty

The quick response from the local civilian guards and security forces prevented more deaths, he said.

Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway Taliban faction, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Around 40 kilometres away, in the town of Mardan, a suicide bomber threw a grenade at the district court before detonating his explosives, according to government spokesman Mushtaq Ghani.

Reportedly at least 12 people were killed and another 54 wounded including lawyers, policemen and passers-by.

Later that day Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued statements condemning both attacks, saying “these cowardly attacks cannot shatter our unflinching resolve in our war against terrorism.”