News / Asia

Pakistan Court Attack Kills 11

Policemen secure the site of a bomb attack at the district court in Islamabad, March 3, 2014.
Policemen secure the site of a bomb attack at the district court in Islamabad, March 3, 2014.
Ayaz Gul
Attack at a Court in Islamabad.Attack at a Court in Islamabad.
x
Attack at a Court in Islamabad.
Attack at a Court in Islamabad.
A gun and suicide bomb attack targeted a court in Pakistan's capital Monday, killing at least 11 people and wounding 25 others. Most of the victims are lawyers, and two judges are among the dead.
 
Authorities say one of the lower courts in Islamabad's secure judicial complex was in session when three gunmen wearing suicide vests burst into the room.
 
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.

Witnesses say the attackers lobbed hand grenades into the crowd and sprayed people with bullets before blowing themselves up. The explosions sent lawyers and judges in the surrounding chambers and offices running in fear.

A visibly shaken man said the gunmen fired indiscriminately and hundreds of bullets also crossed through a temporary wall, striking people in the adjoining chamber.
 
  • A lawyer talks on his mobile phone at the site of a suicide attack in a court complex, Islamabad, March 3, 2014.
  • A woman comforts a woman grieving outside a hospital's morgue, where the bodies of victims of a twin suicide bombing were taken, Islamabad, March 3, 2014.
  • Police officers look for evidence at the site of a suicide attack in a court complex, Islamabad, March 3, 2014.
  • Women mourn outside a hospital's morgue where the bodies of victims of a twin suicide bombing had been taken, Islamabad, March 3, 2014.
  • Police secure the site of a bomb attack at the district court in Islamabad, March 3, 2014.

A spokesman for Islamabad’s main Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Altaf Qureshi, said 25 people were hospitalized, five of them in critical condition.
 
He said most of the victims had bullet wounds in their chests. The spokesman added that the dead included at least five lawyers, one of them a woman.  
 
The assault came hours after the military reported the deaths of two soldiers in a roadside blast in the restive northwestern Khyber tribal region where Islamist militants often attack security forces. Four soldiers were reported wounded.
 
However, the Pakistan Taliban distanced itself from Monday’s violence, which came two days after the militants unilaterally declared a one-month cease-fire to allow peace talks with the government to resume.  Late Sunday the government also said it is ending its bombing campaign against suspected militant hideouts in the northwest in response to the cease-fire call by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP.  
 
The militant organization is a loose alliance of Islamist groups and has claimed responsibility for suicide blasts and other terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of thousands of Pakistanis in recent years. The promise of a cessation of hostilities has raised hopes peace talks between the government and the TTP could resume.
 
An Islamic cleric, Sami ul Haq, who is acting as a TTP intermediary with the government, hoped the latest violence will not derail the peace efforts.

He said the TTP has denied any links to Monday’s violence and it is for the country’s intelligence agencies to uncover the “third force” trying to sabotage the peace process in Pakistan. But the former member of parliament did not elaborate.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs