Attack on Justice Maqbool, TTP claims responbility

KARACHI: The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on Sindh High Court Justice Baqar Maqbool’s convoy in Karachi which killed eight security men and injured the judge on Wedenesday.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that the Taliban also carried out attacks on the local peace council chief in Bannu and a police officer in Peshawar.

“We claim responsibility for the attack on the Sindh High Court judge as he had delivered verdicts against Muslims and particularly the Mujahideen,” he said.

He said the judge was also part of the “secular system” and the attack was completely in line with the Taliban policy to target all those who are part of the system.

Earlier in the morning, 12 people were killed and 14 others sustained injuries, including a senior judge who was critically injured in a bomb explosion at Burns Road, Karachi.

Police said Sindh High Court Justice Baqar Maqbool’s convoy was the target of the attackers. They added that explosive material was planted on a motorbike.

“He received threats from the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Other militants had also threatened him,” police official Ameer Sheikh told AFP.

The motorbike was parked near a mosque and exploded as soon as the convoy passed by it.

Police and rescue personnel soon reached the area and the injured – including Justice Maqbool – were shifted to nearby hospitals. The affected area was sealed for initial investigation.

The injured include four police personnel and a Rangers officer. The police officials are said to be in critical condition.

Justice Maqbool was declared out of danger after he was given medical aid at the Civil hospital. He was then shifted to a private hospital near the Stadium Road.

Due to the intensity of the blast, three police mobile vans and two motorbikes were badly damaged.

The dead include the SHC judge’s driver, guard, a police and a Rangers officer.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, Chief Secretary Sindh and senior police officials alsovisited the area.

People were requested to stay away from the crime scene.

Justice Maqbool is a senior judge of SHC and is currently working as acting chief justice. He has worked on several cases involving militants, serving as a judge in special anti-terrorism courts set up in Pakistan to hand down quick judgements in terror cases.

The justice had refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order in 2007 and took active part in the Lawyers’ Movement.