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Pakistan: At least 11 killed in rare central Islamabad suicide-bomb attack


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Pakistan: At least 11 killed in rare central Islamabad suicide-bomb attack

A rare suicide-bomb and gun attack in central Islamabad has left at least 11 dead, police said.

Gunmen reportedly burst into a court in the heart of Pakistan’s capital just after 9 am on Monday.

An explosion reverberated through the busy shopping area, followed by rounds of gunfire, witnesses said.

“There was a blast, then there was a lot of gunfire. Gunmen were spraying bullets at everyone,” said businessman Faisal Ali, who witnessed the attack.

Two suicide bombers purportedly blew themselves up outside the courtroom, while two other assailants were killed in the ensuing gun fight with the police.

Officials said at least 30 people were wounded.

Judge Rafaqat Awan was among those who died in the attack. Awan had famously rejected a 2013 petition to file a murder case against former President Perzez Musharraf over his order to storm a hardline mosque in the capital in 2007, killing over 100 people.

Many radical Muslims hold a grudge against the ex-president for the assault.

The Pakistani Taliban was quick to distance itself from Monday’s attack, as well as a separate explosion on the Afghan border, which killed two soldiers.

It recently declared a month-long ceasefire to pursue peace talks with the government. In spite of this, near-daily attacks have continued around the country, suggesting that the central Taliban leadership does not have its operations wholly under control.

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