The Pakistani Taliban’s Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction said a suicide bombing at a court on Monday that killed at least, ten people is revenge for the hanging of a man hired as the bodyguard of a politician calling for changes to the country’s blasphemy laws.
Police reported that the suicide bomber’s intention was to enter a courtroom Shabqadar, near the Mohmand ethnic Pashtun region, and set off his explosives. Officials said that the bomber blew himself up after police stopped him.
Four women and children were among the ten people killed along with two police officers and roughly thirty people are wounded in the attack.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the terror group, said in a statement the bombing, “was especially done as vengeance for the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri”.
In 2011, Qadri shot Salman Taseer twenty-eight times in broad daylight in Islamabad. While on trial, Qadri maintained that he did the right thing and it was his religious duty to assassinate governor Taseer, which Qadri served as his bodyguard.
Governor Taseer was a vocal critic of Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, that stipulates a mandatory death sentence for anyone who insults the Prophet Muhammad. In a statement to the court, Qadri wrote that the governor’s support for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman charged with blasphemy, had provoked him to commit the murder.
Every time Qadri appeared in court, lawyers showered him with flower petals and celebrated Qadri as a hero along with several mosques being named after him.