ISLAMABAD — At least 11 people, including a judge, were killed Monday in an attack targeting a court complex in Pakistan's capital, authorities said.
An eyewitness told NBC News that multiple attackers barged into a courtroom, lobbing hand grenades and firing indiscriminately with automatic weapons.
One lawyer described blasts and firing all around. "My colleague was shot, and there was no one to help him. When I reached him, he was bleeding and crying for help," Momin Ali told Reuters.
One of the attackers blew himself up outside the office of the lawyers' union president and the other outside the door of a judge's office, according to Islamabad Police Chief Sikander Hayat.
Police official Jamil Hashmi said there were about six to eight attackers who spread into different areas of the court complex.
"One of the attackers entered a courtroom and shot and killed a judge," Hashmi added.
T. MUGHAL / EPA
Pakistani security officials inspect the scene of a deadly attack on a local court in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Monday.
"At least 11 dead bodies have been shifted to a mortuary and 35 injured have been admitted to hospital," a spokesperson for a local hospital told media.
The attack was a shock to Islamabad, which has mostly been spared the frequent bombings and shootings prevalent in other parts of Pakistan such as Peshawar near the tribal areas or the port city of Karachi.
There was no initial claim of responsibility. But Pakistan’s military said it had bombed the hideout of a militant leader Sunday one day after the Taliban declared a one-month ceasefire to pursue stalled peace talks.
Thousands of residents have fled the tribal region of North Waziristan amid reports that Pakistan is about to launch a long-awaited ground offensive in a bid to crush the Taliban’s militant insurgents.
Wajahat S. Khan of NBC News and Reuters contributed to this report.
First published March 2 2014, 10:49 PM