ISLAMABAD (AP) — A bomb targeting a senior judge in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi wounded him and killed seven members of the security forces on Wednesday, a senior government official said. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack.
The dead included six policemen and a paramilitary Ranger, said Sharjeel Memon, the information minister for southern Sindh province of which Karachi is the capital. The explosion also wounded 15 people, including policemen and Rangers as well as the judge, he said.
The Sindh High Court judge who was targeted, Maqbool Baqir, was being treated at a private hospital, and his condition was stable, said Memon.
"We had provided maximum security to Maqbool Baqir, and he was wounded in today's bomb attack at his convoy," said Memon.
Baqir was on his way to court when the bomb exploded, said senior police official Ameer Sheik. The bomb, which was attached to a motorcycle, was so powerful that it damaged some nearby shops.
Local TV footage showed authorities transporting victims of the attack to the hospital.
Ahsanullah Ahsan, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility, saying they detonated the bomb by remote control.
"We attacked the judge in Karachi as he was taking decisions against Shariah and he was harmful for mujahedeen," he told The Associated Press in a telephone call from an unknown location.
Karachi is Pakistan's largest city with 18 million people and has a long history of violence, both by gangs connected to political parties and increasingly by Taliban militants who have relocated there from sanctuaries in the northwest along the Afghan border.
Earlier this week, on the other side of Pakistan, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for a militant attack on a climbing camp at the foot of the country's second-highest mountain in which 10 foreign tourists and a Pakistani guide were killed.
Associated Press writers Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, and Adil Jawad in Karachi contributed to this report.