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11 killed, 24 injured in court bombing in Islamabad, Pakistan

English.news.cn   2014-03-03 15:22:31

ISLAMABAD, March 3 (Xinhua) -- At least 11 people were killed and over 24 others injured in firing and twin suicide blasts by unknown militants in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Monday morning, Police said.

Sikandar Hayyat, inspector general Islamabad Police, said that some heavily armed unknown gunmen entered into a court from rear side, opened fire at the people and hurled hand grenades at the lawyers' chambers in the district court located in downtown F-8 area of Islamabad.

"After hearing blasts in the court, policemen from the nearby police station rushed to the site and opened fire at the militants who blew themselves up after getting cornered by the police," he said.

The inspector general said that there are no reports about the number of attackers yet.

He said that the attackers targeted the chamber of additional session judge Naveed Khan where a sensitive case was being heard, but he refused to tell the details of the case.

Justice Naveed Khan and his staff remained safe in the attack, however, another judge, Justice Rafaqat Awan, got killed when one of the suicide bombers blew himself up outside his chamber.

When asked about reason of the firing, Hayyat said that he would reveal it after further investigations by the police.

Local TV channel Geo quoted an unnamed police officer as saying that the militants attacked the court to release their accomplices who were brought in there for hearing of a case, but blew themselves up after being cornered by the police.

He said that militants came in a jeep which they parked outside the court building.

Eyewitnesses said that they saw four militants wearing big shawls and holding guns and hand grenades entering inside the court.

"After entering the court, they threw away their shawls and opened unprovoked firing, killing everyone who came in their way," an eyewitness said.

They said that two of the attackers blew themselves up and two other fled the scene after firing by police.

Talking to Xinhua, an eyewitness said that he heard at least five to six gunshots in the court.

Media reports said that the firing triggered out a stampede in the court due to which several people got injured.

The injured people have been shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences where a state of emergency has been imposed.

Talking to Xinhua, Doctor Ayesha Isani, spokesperson Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, said that they have received 11 bodies and 25 injured at the hospital, adding that the death toll may further rise as several among the injured are in critical condition.

She said that the killed and injured people include lawyers including female advocates.

Police cordoned off the area and kicked off investigations.

Supreme Court announced black day in the country on Tuesday, while chief justice of Pakistan, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, took a suo-motu action against the incident.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the blast and directed hospital administration to provide best medical facilities to the injured people.

The blast happened a day after Pakistani government announced to stop aerial strikes at Taliban hideouts in response to a one- month cease-fire announcement by Taliban on Saturday.

Following the blast, Professor Ibrahim, key member of the Taliban peace committee, said that Taliban cannot be behind the court attacks, adding that, he would quit the committee if the blast turned out be planned or executed by Taliban.

Editor: An
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