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Pakistan bombs kills 10, wound top judge

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bomb attacks in Pakistan killed 10 people and wounded nine others on Wednesday, including a senior judge who was critcally injured following a blast in the business capital Karachi, officials said.

The first bomb targeted Maqbool Baqir, a judge at the high court in southern province Sindh in the port city of Karachi, killing at least seven people on a busy street during the morning rush hour.

The bomb, planted on a motorbike, exploded as Baqir drove past with his security detail in Burns Road in the centre of the city.

"According to initial information, seven people have been killed," Sindh information minister Sharjeel Memon told reporters.

He said one officer from the Rangers paramilitary force was among the dead. Rangers and police were accompanying Baqir, the minister said.

Police said Baqir was in hospital with critical injuries and that his driver was killed.

Memon asked reporters to "please pray" for the judge's recovery.

"I can confirm that Justice Maqbool Baqir is critically injured," police official Salman Syed told AFP.

"Nine people are injured. The bomb was planted on a motorbike and it was detonated by remote control," he added.

Baqir has a reputation for honesty and has also served as a judge in special anti-terrorism courts set up in Pakistan to hand down quick judgements in terror cases.

Karachi, a city of 18 million people, contributes 42 percent of Pakistan's GDP but is rife with murder and kidnappings and has been plagued for years by ethnic, sectarian and political violence.

Last year around 2,000 people were killed in violence linked to ethnic and political tensions, its deadliest toll in two decades.

In the northwest, another bomb attack killed the head of a pro-government tribal militia, along with his brother and nephew in Jani Khel, Bannu district, officials said.

Security officials told AFP that Malik Hashim Khan supported an army operation in the area, part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which borders Afghanistan, in 2007-08.

"It was a powerful bomb which destroyed the vehicle completely. Malik Hashim, his brother and nephew died on the spot," a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

A second official said the dead bodies were destroyed beyond recognition.

Pakistan has for years been fighting homegrown Taliban insurgents in its border areas with Afghanistan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack Wednesday but the Taliban frequently target anti-Taliban tribal elders in the northwest, as well as police and soldiers.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130626/pakistan-bombs-kills-10-wound-top-judge