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Pakistani Taliban claim attack on SHC judge in Karachi

Updated June 26, 2013

KARACHI: At least nine people were killed and 15 others injured on Wednesday when a bomb targeting the convoy of Sindh High Court judge Justice Maqbool Baqir exploded near Karachi’s Burns Road area.

Spokesperson for the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ehsanullah Ehsan, told Dawn.com that the militant organisation was responsible for the attack on the senior SHC judge.

Ehsan further said that the judge was targeted for what he said were "anti-Taliban and anti-mujahideen decisions" adding that the group would continue to target judiciary.

Initially, Sindh's Information Minister Sharjeel Memon had stated that seven people had died in the attack and that the bomb was a planted device.

Later, SSP Nasir Aftab put the death toll at nine after two more policemen succumbed to their injuries during treatment at a hospital..

The attack happened as Justice Maqbool Baqir drove past with his security detail in Burns Road.

Police said Baqir was rushed to a nearby hospital with critical injuries and that his driver was killed.

Justice Baqir was later shifted to a private hospital where he will undergo surgery, according to doctors, who added that the the High Court judge was in stable condition.

The doctors, not wanting to be named, told Dawn.com that Baqir had sustained injuries to his head as he was hit by ball bearings and glass shards in the explosion.

The deceased included seven policemen, one paramilitary Ranger and Baqir's driver.

Police sources said Justice Maqbool Baqir was on the hit-list of the proscribed militant organisation Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.

Police and Rangers personnel and rescue team workers reached the site of the incident and cordoned off the area as investigations into the incident went underway.

The bomb also damaged a motorcycle and a police mobile van.

The casualties were subsequently shifted to Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, lawyers have announced a boycott of court proceedings across Sindh in the wake of the incident.

SHC judge Baqir has a reputation for honesty and also served as a judge in special anti-terrorism courts set up in the country to pass down quick punishments to convicted terrorists.

— Zahir Shah Sherazi and Saher Baloch contributed to the reporting of this story