Bomb targets judge
A bomb targeting a senior judge in Karachi wounded him and killed seven members of the security forces yesterday, 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 Sindh Province, where 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, Memon said. “We had provided maximum security to Maqbool Baqir and he was wounded in today’s bomb attack at his convoy,” Memon said. Baqir was on his way to court when the bomb exploded, senior police official Ameer Sheik said. 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. Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the Taliban, 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 mujahidin,” he said in a telephone call from an unknown location.
Xinjiang riots kill 27
Riots in restive Xinjiang Province yesterday killed 27 people and left at least three injured, state media said. Xinhua news agency said knife-wielding mobs attacked police stations, a local government building and a construction site yesterday morning in a remote town in the Turkic-speaking region. The unrest in Lukqun, a township in Turpan Prefecture, left 17 people dead, including nine policemen, before police shot and killed 10 rioters, the agency reported. Xinhua cited officials with the region’s Communist Party committee.
Space capsule lands
A space capsule with three astronauts has safely landed on grasslands in the north after a 15-day trip to the country’s prototype space station. The Shenzhou 10’s descent module landed by parachute in Inner Mongolia early yesterday with the three crewmembers reported in good health. The two men and one woman taught lessons to schoolchildren while in space. The country sent its first astronaut into space in 2003, becoming the third nation after Russia and the US to achieve manned space travel independently. The latest mission was the second crewed trip to the Tiangong 1 experimental space station, launched in 2011. It is due to be replaced by a three-module permanent station in 2020.
Australia starts whaling case
Australia is urging the UN’s highest court to ban Japan’s annual whale hunt. Lawyers for Australia were to argue at the International Court of Justice yesterday that Japan harpoons minke whales each year in the icy waters around Antarctica in breach of a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling. Japan is to respond next week by telling judges that the hunt is for scientific research and is allowed under the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Opponents say the program is a guise for keeping Japan’s dwindling whaling industry alive because the whale meat from the hunt is sold for consumption. The court will take months to issue a final and binding decision.