[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007, 11:57 GMT
Pakistani suicide bomb kills 15
Pakistani policemen inspect the wreckage at the bomb blast site in Quetta
The attack occurred when the courts were at their busiest
At least 15 people have died in a suicide attack in the city of Quetta in south-western Pakistan, police say.

The explosion tore through a district courts complex as a court was in session, killing a judge, several lawyers and court officials.

No-one has claimed the attack, which injured dozens of people, police said.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan province, where for several years nationalist militants have been fighting for greater autonomy.

A severed head, thought to be the bomber's, was found in the aftermath of the attack, police said.

"The bomber entered the courtroom, stood leaning against a wall and detonated," Balochistan police chief Tariq Khosa told AFP news agency.

Pakistan map

Several of the injured are in a serious condition with severe burns.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said the attack was against the Muslim faith and against humanity.

Pakistan's security forces are already on high alert, following three suicide bomb attacks in the region in recent weeks, says the BBC's Rumella Dasgupta.

Despite the government's denials, there are regular reports of Taleban insurgents operating in the province, which borders Afghanistan, our correspondent says.

Pakistan is under pressure from its Western allies who want to see the country doing more to control the highly volatile situation along its western borders.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The scene of the bomb blast



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific