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Pakistan bishops condemn attack on Christian school


The Church in Pakistan has condemned "in the strongest terms" Monday's attack by presumed Islamic Unitarians against the Christian school in Murree, Pakistan.

At least six people were killed and four others injured when up to four gunmen fought their way into the Murree Christian School complex in the hills near Islamabad.

"We are terribly shocked by these acts of unexplained violence against all religions," said an official of the Pakistan Episcopal conference, "We hope that the government, the population and the entire international community co-operate and work together to guarantee an atmosphere of tolerance and security for everyone."

Official police sources reported yesterday that three men suspected of having carried out the attack committed suicide. Officers said the suspects were challenged by police after a hand grenade was recovered from one of them; they rushed towards a nearby river and killed themselves with other explosives.

The school is headed by Australian Russell Morton, and a number of the staff and students are Australian. Australia's deputy high commissioner in Islamabad, Brett Hackett, in Islamabad said none of the 16 Australians, four of them students, at the school during the attack were injured.

The Pakistan government firmly condemned the attack, defining it as a "cowardly act of terrorism". The attack is the third on a Christian target in Pakistan since President Pervez Musharraf joined the US-led campaign against al-Qaeda and the Taleban last autumn.

LINKS
Pupils survive school attack (The Age 7/8/02)
School raid suspects 'commit suicide' (BBC)

SOURCE
MISNA


8 Aug 2002