ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, has seen its worst terror attack in years.
Gunmen today stormed the country's main court complex, killing lawyers as they fled, and then blowing themselves up. At least 11 people were killed in the rampage and 29 wounded.
The Pakistani Taliban are denying responsibility for the attack. But the bloodshed will undermine the government's efforts to negotiate a peace deal with that group. And, it raises questions of whether the Taliban can control some of their factions that may oppose peace talks.
The attack came just days after the Taliban announced a one-month cease-fire for the talks.
Today's assault lasted about 20 minutes. Witnesses say gunmen swarmed through the narrow alleys between the buildings in the complex, hurling grenades and firing automatic weapons. They say the gunmen broke through a door to the chambers of one judge, and shot him to death. Other victims died in a cafeteria.
140-a-10-(Mohammad Bilal (BEE'-lahl, eyewitness and lawyer, in AP interview)-"on the spot"-Lawyer Mohammad Bilal says he saw the gunmen burst into the court complex and open fire, killing an attorney and others. ((Note accent; the verbatim is: 'There were 6 to 7 people around about. And they started firing, openly firing on the people, in which the one lady lawyer got severe injuries and she died on spot.')) (3 Mar 2014)
<<CUT *140 (03/03/14)££ 00:10 "on the spot"
APPHOTO XMM106: An elderly Pakistani man, center, embraces another man as they grieve outside a hospital's morgue, where the bodies of victims of a twin suicide bombing are, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 3, 2014. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a court complex in the Pakistani capital on Monday, killing nearly a dozen and wounding scores in a rare terror attack in the heart of Islamabad, officials said. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) (3 Mar 2014)
<<APPHOTO XMM106 (03/03/14)££