Bombing At Pakistan University Kills 4

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There was another terrorist attack in the heart of Pakistan's capital today. A pair of explosions rocked the campus of the Islamic University in Islamabad. The attack occurred as Pakistan's army continued its offensive against the Taliban in the mountains of South Waziristan.


This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Michele Norris in Washington.


And I'm Melissa Block in California.

In Pakistan today, a double suicide bombing ripped through Islamabad's International Islamic University. At least seven people were killed, including the bombers. There have been several weeks of deadly terror attacks in Pakistan, but this was the first since the army launched a new offensive against Taliban militants late last week.

NPR's Julie McCarthy visited the scene of the bombing in Islamabad today.

JULIE MCCARTHY: The latest attack targeted the country's premier Islamic university, whose mission emphasizes Islamic disciplines for its 12,000 students, around half of whom are women. The fact that not one but two suicide bombers reigned terror on the university today left some students shaken, others enraged.

Anam Abosi(ph) is a 21-year-old business student who says to be afraid is to be a victim.

Ms. ANAM ABOSI: For what the (unintelligible) we would be afraid of them. They can't scare us like this. Check out the names of Islamic University and, still, then you guys are hurting this Islamic University. Man, isn't this worse? Like, you're destroying the university of your own religion, who is made for the sake of your own religion.

MCCARTHY: One bomber struck the cafeteria in the women's section of the sex-segregated university. A pair of sequined sandals lay beside a pool of blood at the entrance to the red brick building. The front door was framed in the black soot from the blast that raked the large, now blood-spattered room, where students regularly gather.

Anam Abosi said it's where she and her friends normally hung out. Standing before the ruined canteen, Abosi was sobered at the thought of the place that had cemented friendships being destroyed.

Ms. ABOSI: Probably, my heart is just crying at the moment because I can't see my own buddies, like watching them going out to hospitals and just getting injured like this becauseā€¦

MCCARTHY: You can imagine this.

Ms. ABOSI: Of course. I just don't know for what purpose are they doing this. And if they're, like, just destroying their youth, what else there'd be. What is the future of this country? Where are we going if you are just, like, continuing of this with bomb blasts and all? Where will we be?

MCCARTHY: A second suicide bomber on the men's campus attacked the department of sharia, or Islamic law.

Visiting lecturer Kashif Ahmed(ph) called the bombing blasphemous.

Mr. KASHIF AHMED (Lecturer): If it is (unintelligible) that means that these people who are trying to do all these terrorist activities, they have nothing to do with Islam. And even I should rather say that they're the archenemies of Islam because they're rooting us out. And they are doing and blasting all the things without any discrimination.

MCCARTHY: By late afternoon, with sober assessments over, the men's campus erupted.

(Soundbite of chanting)

MCCARTHY: Amid these angry chants, the interior minister arrived to survey the damage, hoping to assuage the pain with a few words. Instead, police commandos had to hustle him into the bombed law building, as students assailed the minister, yelling: Shame. Shame. Shame. Followed by shouts of: Zardari go - a reference to President Asif Ali Zardari, whose government is seen by these students as unresponsive to their security needs.

The government hopes that an army operation underway against the Taliban sanctuary in South Waziristan will help end precisely this sort of attacks unleashed today.

Julie McCarthy, NPR News, Islamabad.

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