Twin suicide attack in Islamabad district court leaves 11 dead, 25 injured

Published: March 3, 2014
SHARES
Email
The attack on a district court in Islamabad's sector F-8 has killed 11 people and injured 25 others. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL

The attack on a district court in Islamabad's sector F-8 has killed 11 people and injured 25 others. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL

The attack on a district court in Islamabad's sector F-8 has killed 11 people and injured 25 others. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL Police commandos stop a photo journalist near a local court building after a gun and suicide attack in Islamabad on March 3, 2014. PHOTO: AFP Express News screengrab. Express News screengrab. Express News screengrab. Express News screengrab.

ISLAMABAD / RAWALPINDI: Eleven people were killed and 25 others injured after a gun and twin suicide attack at the district court in Islamabad’s sector F-8, Express News reported on Monday.

Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences’ (PIMS) Dr Altaf told the media that five of the injured, including three lawyers, were in critical condition. Islamabad Additional Sessions Judge Rafaqat Ahmad Khan Awan and a female lawyer were among the dead.

According to the PIMS list, the dead include: Additional Sessions Judge Rafaqat Ahmed Awan, senior advocate Rao Abdul Rashid, advocate Tanveer Ahmed Shah, Fizza Malik, Mian Muhammad Aslam, AIOU regional director Muhammad Riaz, policeman Akbar Umer Tariq, junior munshi Talib Hussain, court staff Shabir, Haji Sanullah and an unidentified person.

The injured include Raja Basharat, Waseem Iqbal, Mazhar Ali, Abdul Khaliq, Oun Azhar, Syed Obaidullah, Akmal Umer Tariq, Yasir Hameed Malik, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Faisal, Nadeem Aziz, Mian Abdur Razzaq, Muhammad Bashir, Nisar, Faizan Mahmood, Muhammad Ishtiaq, Nisar Ahmed, Ch. Maqsood Akhtar, Syed Obaidullah, Qazi Rafiuddin, Muzamil Hussain, Amin, Nadeem, Madiha, Muhammad Miskeen, Asadullah, Easa Khan, Shakir and advocate Rai Azhar Hussain.

According to Islamabad SSP Dr Muhammad Rizwan, two young men entered the court premises. They hurled hand-grenades in the courtrooms and opened indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons. There was some discord on the exact number of attackers.

Dr Rizwan said search operation was under way to clear the area, adding bodies and injured had been shifted to the PIMS.

Police and Rangers cordoned off the area soon after the attack and sealed Islamabad’s Red Zone with reports that some of the attackers involved were still at large in the city.

A search operation on IJP Road and nearby areas in Rawalpindi has reportedly been launched to find the culprits.

Condemning the attack, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid announced that TTP was not responsible for the attack.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also condemned the attacks.

A case was also filed against unidentified men in the Margalla Police Station.

Three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani will hear the case regarding the attack on March 4 (tomorrow).

Ahrar-ul-Hind claims responsibility

A little known group called Ahrar-ul-Hind has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“I claim responsibility for the Islamabad attack,” the purported spokesperson for the group told The Express Tribune by telephone from an undisclosed location. He used an Afghan mobile number to call the media outlet.

The spokesperson said he was speaking on behalf of the group’s leader, Umer Mansoor, and condemned what he called the “hue and cry” by the government and media outlets about peace talks between the Taliban and the government.

“We claim responsibility for the attack, we are an independent group and have no links with TTP,” he told AFP.

“We were a part of TTP earlier but now we operate independently.”

.

“We do not favour the ceasefire, or the peace talks as it is un-Islamic,” he added.

“Our main demand is the implementation of Sharia, which has not been mentioned in these talks,” he said when asked why his group opposes the peace talks.

The group has previously sent statements strongly opposing the dialogue process when it started last month.

Chaudhry Nisar briefs NA

Later on Monday, at the National Assembly, the interior minister gave his report of the incident that took place.

He spoke about the security situation at the district court and stated that “there is a huge difference between the intel provided by intelligence agencies and the police”.

Nisar further said that he was informed by the police that two men entered a side lane of the district court where they fired gunshots into the air and then shot everyone who came their way.

On the other hand, he stated that the intelligence agencies informed him that three men entered the premises; two of them were armed with suicide jackets while the third was carrying a kalashnikov. He later added that two of them blew themselves up, while the third ran away.

He also confirmed that 11 people lost their lives, while 29 were left injured.

Initial report

Police and intelligence agencies submitted an initial report to the interior ministry. According to the report, four armed men entered the court building and two suicide attacks took place. Firing broke out after the blasts and the other two attackers fled the scene.

The attackers were between 20 and 25 years of age.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

                                                                       End of Live Updates

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

11:39am

Pims hospital’s Dr Altaf told media that a women, identified as Fiza, is among the dead. He stated that 25 people are injured and five of them are in critical condition. He also added that three of the critically injured are lawyers.

It was earlier reported that 35 people were injured.

Courts in Karachi have also been put on high alert after the attack.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

11:15am

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid announces that his group was not responsible for the attack.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

11:11am

A three-member bench headed by the chief justice will hear the case regarding the attack on March 4. The interior secretary will also appear before the court.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

11:06am

Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani takes notice of the attack.

Faisal Ali, a businessman who witnessed the attack, told Reuters that “there was a blast, then there was a lot of gunfire. Gunmen were spraying bullets at everyone.”

 photo Image_0303-1046CH-935_zpsfeb87e5e.jpg

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:57am

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan condemned the attack.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:55am

Security has been put on high alert throughout Punjab.

Pakistan Bar Council announces country-wide boycott of courts.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:51am

Inspector General of the Islamabad Police (IGP) Sikandar Hayat says that there were two attackers.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:42am

Police stated that body parts of the suicide bomber were found at the scene.

The Bomb Disposal Squad have cleared the location of the blast and a search operation of the surrounding area is ongoing.

 photo vlcsnap-2014-03-03-10h37m54s21_zps6a2900b3.png

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:34am

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan intermediary Prof Muhammad Ibrahim said that the attack was saddening.

Eye witnesses say that the attackers were tall, had long hair and arrived in a white Prado.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:31am

11 people were killed and 35 injured, according to Pims representatives.

Police said that there were four attackers.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:28am

Islamabad SP Jamil Hashmi said that it was a suicide attack followed by firing.

A civil judge was also injured in the attack.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:24am

Islamabad High Court has been evacuated and all legal proceedings in the court have been postponed.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:20am

Dr Ayesha told media that 11 people are dead. She also said that at least 25 people are injured, adding that around half are in critical condition.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:18am

Emergency was declared in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims). Pims representative Dr Ayesha confirmed that 10 people were killed.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:15am

Islamabad Additional Sessions Judge Rafaqat Ahmad Khan Awan was killed in the attack.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

10:13am

Ten people were killed and dozens injured in the attack.

The firing incident led to a stampede. One person was killed and 12 others injured. The wounded have been taken to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) for treatment.

The attackers are reportedly still inside the court building and police have blocked all entry and exit points of the building. Police officers have been deployed on top of nearby buildings and elite force commandos have also reached the location.

Judges and lawyers are confined to their chambers. According to eye witnesses, there are six to seven attackers.

There are some reports that a hand grenade exploded in the court but this has not been confirmed.

Facebook Conversations

More in Pakistan