KARACHI: At least nine people died and 15 others, including a senior judge of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and three policemen, sustained injuries in a blast in Burns Road area of this port city of Pakistan on Wednesday.
According to media reports, the blast occurred in vicinity of the Sindh Secretariat, the provincial government headquarters, when a bomb planted on a motorbike was detonated by a remote control.
The police officials said that terrorists targeted the vehicle of a senior SHC judge Justice Maqbool Baqir, near the intersection of Urdu Bazaar Road and Court Road leading to the Sindh High Court with a remote-controlled bomb. A car, a police van and a motorbike were destroyed in the explosion, which also damaged nearby buildings.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon earlier confirmed seven deaths. Talking to reporters, he said one officer of the paramilitary Rangers, five policemen and driver of the SHC justice were among the dead.
The injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital while Justice Maqbool Baqir was being treated at a private hospital and his condition was stable, said Memon. “We had provided maximum security to Maqbool Baqir, and he was wounded in today’s bomb attack at his convoy,” he added.
Senior Superintendent of Police Nasir Aftab later put the death toll at nine after two more policemen succumbed to their injuries during treatment at a hospital.
Justice Maqbool Baqir was on his way to court when the bomb exploded, a said senior police official. The bomb, which was attached to a motorcycle, was so powerful that it also damaged some nearby shops.
Bomb disposal squad said that approximately eight kilograms of explosives were used in the blast.
Justice Maqbool Baqir has a reputation of being honest and also served as a judge of a special anti-terrorism court set up in Pakistan to hand down quick judgements in terror cases.
Meanwhile, media reports said that the spokesman for the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed the responsibility for the attack, saying they detonated the bomb using a remote-control device. “We attacked the judge in Karachi as he was taking decisions against Shariah and he was harmful for mujahidin,” reports quoted him as saying.