At least 11 people were killed and 24 wounded on Monday in a gun and
suicide bomb attack at a court complex in the heavily-guarded Pakistani
capital Islamabad, police said.
death toll was confirmed by other police officials and the spokeswoman
for the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Ayesha Isani. Isani
said 20 wounded had been brought to the institute, half of them in
critical condition. The dead included a sessions judge, police said.
around the court, in a prosperous residential sector of the city
popular with foreign residents, were sealed off as police and
paramilitary forces carried out a search.
Lawyer Murad Ali Shah described the dramatic moment the carnage began. “At
9am around 15 armed men surrounded the court compound. They entered the
chamber and started firing,” he told AFP, adding that he had helped
recover several bodies. “The attackers were armed with
Kalashnikovs and hand grenades. They were wearing shalwar kameez and had
long beards and long hair.”
On Sunday the Pakistani government
announced it was halting air strikes against suspected Taliban hideouts
in the country’s restive tribal areas along the Afghan border in
response to the militants’ ceasefire.