x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Taliban bomb targeting senior judge kills 7 in Pakistan

The Taliban exploded a bomb in Karachi aimed at a senior judge, which wounded their target and killed seven members of the security forces.

ISLAMABAD // The Taliban exploded a bomb in Karachi aimed at a senior judge, which wounded their target and killed seven members of the security forces today.

The dead included six policemen and a paramilitary ranger, said Sharjeel Memon, the information minister for southern Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital. He said 15 were wounded, including policemen and rangers as well as the judge.

The Sindh High Court judge who was targeted, Maqbool Baqir, was being treated at a private hospital, and his condition was stable.

"We had provided maximum security to Maqbool Baqir, and he was wounded in today's bomb attack at his convoy," said Mr Memon.

Mr Baqir was on his way to court when the bomb exploded, said senior police official Emir Sheik. The bomb, which was attached to a motorcycle, was so powerful that it damaged nearby shops.

Ahsanullah Ahsan, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the bomb, which he said was detonated by remote control.

"We attacked the judge in Karachi as he was taking decisions against Sharia and he was harmful for mujaheddin," he said.

Karachi is Pakistan's largest city with a population of 18 million and has a long history of violence, both by gangs connected to political parties and increasingly by Taliban militants who have relocated there from sanctuaries along the Afghan border.

This week, on the other side of Pakistan, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for a militant attack on a climbing camp at the foot of the country's second-highest mountain in which 10 foreign tourists and a Pakistani guide were killed.