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Pakistani Taliban wage new war against judiciary

March 18, 2013

Still from DawnNews footage shows scenes from inside the court premises following the blast.

PESHAWAR: Pakistani Taliban militants have started a new battle against the judiciary, which they claim has “failed to protect innocent citizens like Dr Aafia Siddiqui.”

At least four persons were killed when two suicide bombers blew themselves up within the premises of the judicial complex in Peshawar on Monday.

After much deliberation, outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), accepting responsibility for the suicide attack, said the attack has been launched against the judicial system which has failed to protect innocent citizens like Dr Aafia Siddqui.

Speaking to Dawn.Com from an undisclosed location, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said the attack has been carried out by the outfit’s “Aafia Siddqui Brigade.”

Capital City Police Officer Imtiaz Altaf confirmed that two suicide bombers entered the judicial complex and opened indiscriminate firing on the policemen performing guard duty at the entrance and entered the complex

The CCPO added that “one of them (attackers) was shot dead by the police while the other blew himself up inside the court premises causing damage to the walls and doors.”

He further said that four people were killed and 25 others were injured.

He added that there was no hostage situation as only two attackers had entered the complex and one of them was gunned down by the law enforcement agencies while the other blew himself up in the court of additional sessions judge Kalsoom Azam.

The bomb disposal squad official Zahid Khan told Dawn.Com that the suicide vest of the bomber was removed after he was being shot dead, adding that “one of his arm was blown up as the hand-grenade he was carrying exploded.”

Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ghulam Dastagir Khan, speaking to media in the hospital, said that four people died in the attack while 25 others have been injured including four policemen.

Provincial Information Minster Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that the attack clearly showed the militants wanted to sabotage the upcoming elections and disrupt the democratic process.

He added, it appears the militants wanted to carry out attacks before the start of election process so as to delay the elections or get them postponed.

The injured were shifted to the nearby Lady reading Hospital where the condition of three victims was reported as critical.

Security forces cordoned off and conducted a search operation in the area.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council and the Peshawar High Court Bar Association has called for a strike on Tuesday and will observe black day to condemn the attack.