UK & World News

  • 3 March 2014, 16:10

Pakistan Courtroom Attack Leaves 11 Dead

A judge and 10 others were killed during an attack in a courthouse in Pakistan.

Judge Rafaqat Awan died after attackers threw grenades and fired indiscriminately inside the premises in the capital Islamabad.

Some 25 others were injured.

Two blasts were heard inside the court building - one near the chambers of a judge and another outside an office of an official.

A senior police official said the incident may be treated as a terror attack, though this is unconfirmed at this stage.

The attack began when a defendant was brought before the court and his friends tried to free him, another officer told AFP.

Two attackers are said to have died when the grenade exploded.

It is not clear if they were alone or what the motive was.

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid denied any involvement from his group in the raid.

The group has attacked government institutions repeatedly since the insurgency started in 2007. 

Two days ago they declared a month-long ceasefire to resume the peace talks that were initiated by the government last month.

The talks had stalled when 23 soldiers of the Frontier Corps were executed by a group associated with the TTP.

The Pakistani air force retaliated by pounding militant hideouts in the tribal regions, killing a number of fighters.

Pakistan has been in the grips of continued fighting between the government, its military and the various groups of the Pakistan Taliban.

More than 51,000 people are said to have lost their lives in this conflict.

Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, met with army chief General Rasheel Sharif and senior ministers on Monday to discuss the attack, strategies on the peace talks with the Taliban and the military's goal in North Waziristan. 

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.