(www.ap.org) вЂ" A judge and 12 others were killed Saturday when a powerful bomb exploded inside a courtroom in a southwestern Pakistani province that has seen intense civil conflict for years, police said.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack at the District Courts complex in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.
"I confirm that that the civil judge Abdul Wahid has died in the bomb explosion," said Afaq Zahid, an area police chief.
Rauf Khan, the city police chief, said the blast killed 13 people, including Wahid, five lawyers and relatives of some of the defendants, reports Trend.
"At this stage it is difficult to say whether it was a suicide attack or some one had planted the bomb there," he said. Bomb disposal experts are still investigating to determine nature of the attack.
Government forces have clashed with ethnic Baluch rebels in the vast desert province, scene of long-running unrest over political rights and royalties from rich natural gas fields.
The conflict in the sparsely populated and impoverished region has drawn little attention from Western nations more concerned about Taliban militants believed to launch attacks from border regions of Baluchistan into Afghanistan, where NATO forces operate.
Humanitarian concerns emerged in the spring amid reports that tens of thousands of Baluch people had fled their homes in the volatile districts of Dera Bugti and Kohlu.
In August, a UNICEF survey counted 84,000 displaced and recommended to the provincial government that they needed help.