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11 Killed in Pakistan Court Attack

Pakistani police say a gun and suicide bomb attack on a court complex in Islamabad killed 11 people Monday, including a judge and attorneys.

The morning attack began with gunfire followed by two suicide blasts, wounding 25 people, mostly young attorneys.

Lawyer associations have announced a nationwide strike to protest the courtroom violence.

A spokesman for a little known militant group, Ahrar ul-Hind, which recently split from the main Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella group, claimed responsibility for Monday's attack.

Two days ago the TTP announced it would observe a one-month cease-fire to allow peace talks with the government to resume.

The Ahrar ul-Hind spokesman told VOA his group opposes the talks, saying "Islam does not allow such negotiations and we will not compromise on our major demand for implementation of Sharia (Islamic law) in Pakistan."

Monday's violence came hours after the Pakistani government announced it was ending its bombing campaign against suspected militant hideouts in the country's northwest in response to the TTP's unilateral cease-fire declaration.

The outlawed TTP, a lose alliance of Islamist outfits, is waging a bloody insurgency in Pakistan that has killed thousands of people.

Meanwhile in northwest Pakistan, a blast has killed two soldiers and wounded four in the Sadokhel area of the restive Khyber tribal region.


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