Two suicide blasts at a university in the Pakistani capital have killed
at least six people and wound many others, mostly female students. The
violence comes as Pakistani security forces are engaged in an offensive
aimed at eliminating extremists that authorities blame for sponsoring
most of suicide bombings across the country.
Police and eyewitnesses say that two suicide bombers struck the capital city's International Islamic University, where thousands of students, including foreigners are taught modern as well as religious subjects. One attacker, they say, blew himself up at a canteen for female students, causing most of the casualties. A male student described the scene to reporters.
The man says he was in the nearby hostel and rushed to the scene of the first blast but as soon as he came out another bomb went off in the adjacent facility. He says he rushed in with other colleagues and saw two bodies at the entrance.
More than a dozen injured were brought to the main hospital in Islamabad for treatment where several female victims are said to be in critical condition. Interior Minister Rehman Malik visited the hospital and spoke to reporters.
The minister said that by targeting an institution known for teaching Islamic studies the militants have given a clear message that they are neither friends of Islam nor they are friends of Pakistan.
He suspected the latest act of violence is also linked to Taliban and al-Qaida extremists based in the Waziristan region on the border with Afghanistan.
"All roads are leading toward South Waziristan and North Waziristan where the operation is continuing," said Malik.
Pakistan's Waziristan region is known for harboring Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaida and Taliban networks who are accused of staging attacks against local as well as foreign targets in the country and across the border in Afghanistan.
The unusual rise in terrorist attacks in recent weeks provoked the Pakistani military on Saturday to go ahead with a long-awaited offensive against militant bases in the Waziristan region. The offensive is said to have killed dozens of militants in the first four days and has seized key mountain tops and villages. The Pakistani security forces are fighting an estimate 10,000 militants in South Waziristan, including foreigners.