Deadly suicide attack on court in Pakistan capital of Islamabad | News | DW | 03.03.2014
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Deadly suicide attack on court in Pakistan capital of Islamabad

A suicide attack on a court in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad has left around a dozen people dead. Two suicide bombs followed gunfire, with a judge among those killed.

More than 20 people were wounded, Islamabad police chief Sikandar Hayat told reporters after Monday's attack. Gunmen reportedly entered the court complex at around 9 a.m. local time, throwing hand grenades before opening fire.

"It was certainly an act of terrorism," Hayat said, adding two of the attackers blew themselves up outside the offices of prominent officials. At least two others were reported to have exchanged fire with police. "All the [other] attackers fled, though one sustained injuries in the leg and back," he said.

Local police station head constable Mohammad Yousaf told news agency Reuters: "There is one policeman among the dead. We also have unconfirmed reports that two lawyers have died."

The judge killed in the attack has been identified as Rafaqat Awan. Many of the wounded are being treated at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.

No one is yet to claim responsibility. Pakistan's Taliban has denied involvement in the attack, which came after a month-long ceasefire was announced by the militant group on Saturday.

The ceasefire and the government's subsequent halting of air strikes is the first step towards reviving peace talks between the two parties. Talks had broken down after 23 Pakistani soldiers were killed, resulting in the government's bombing of tribal areas.

"We have already declared a ceasefire for a month and we stand by our promise," a Taliban spokesman said.

It is the first suicide attack in Islamabad since June 2011, and the most deadly since 60 died in the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in September 2008.

ph/hc (dpa, AP, AFP, Reuters)

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