Militants storm judicial complex in Pakistan, four killed

Last Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 - 21:51

Islamabad: A group of heavily-armed suicide attackers stormed a judicial complex in the restive Peshawar city of northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing four persons and injuring 30 others, including a lady judge.

The militants lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately after entering the judicial complex from an entrance at the rear at about 12:30 pm (local time), witnesses said.

One suicide bomber blew himself up in the courtroom of lady judge Kulsoom Azam, injuring her and several others.

Officials at Lady Reading Hospital said they had received four bodies and 30 injured.

After visiting the complex, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain confirmed that suicide attackers were involved in the assault.

Though initial reports had suggested up to 10 terrorists were involved in the assault, Additional Inspector General of Police Masood Khan Afridi told reporters the attack was carried out by two suicide bombers.

One suicide bomber blew himself in the courtroom of Additional District and Sessions Judge Kulsoom Azam while the other was shot dead by police, Afridi said.

The judicial complex was cleared after a search operation by security forces.

Afridi denied media reports that the attackers had taken some hostages.

"This was not a security lapse as the attackers were intercepted by three policemen, who were injured in the exchange of fire," Afridi said.

Witnesses said the militants holed up in the complex and exchanged fire with security forces for some time.

A large contingent of policemen and army soldiers surrounded the judicial complex at Khyber Road, which is a high-security area.

Four policemen, several lawyers, Judge Kulsoom Azam and a lady special prosecutor were among the injured.

They were taken to the nearby Lady Reading Hospital, where officials described the condition of two persons as serious.

Footage on television showed people fleeing in panic from the complex as soldiers took up positions on a nearby road.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 - 14:27

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