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More than a dozen Pakistani judges receive letters with ‘toxic’ powder

Letters containing a suspicious white powder sent to at least 17 top judges, prompting an investigation by the authorities.

Islamabad, Pakistan – More than a dozen senior judges in Pakistan have received letters containing a suspicious white powder since Tuesday, prompting an investigation by the authorities.

On Tuesday, all the eight judges of the Islamabad High Court received similar mails, with a note in English criticising the “justice system of Pakistan” and even mentioning the term, bacillus anthracis, according to a first information report (FIR) filed by the police in the capital, Islamabad.

Bacillus anthracis is a bacteria that can cause anthrax, a serious infection which can be fatal if immediate treatment is not given.

The next day, four Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, and five judges of the Lahore High Court also received similar letters with the suspected “toxic” material.

Police said a lesser-known group called Tehreek-e-Namoos Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the suspicious letters.

Police officials in Islamabad and Lahore said the letters and their contents have been sent to forensic and security experts for investigation. The authorities have not yet confirmed what the white powder was.

“We are conducting our investigation and we shall provide a prompt update as soon as we have a breakthrough,” a police official involved in the investigation told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Tehreek-e-Namoos Pakistan was first heard of in September last year when the authorities were alerted about a suspicious bag found at an upscale hiking trail in Islamabad. The bag contained a letter, hand grenades, a pistol,