PAKISTAN

Double bombing strikes Islamabad university, killing at least five

A double suicide bomb attack has targeted the Islamic University in Pakistan's capital Islamabad, killing at least five people and injuring some 13 others, according to Pakistani officials.

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Twin blasts ripped through a university campus in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad Tuesday, killing at least five people and injuring some 13 others, according to Pakistani officials.

Reporting from Islamabad, FRANCE 24’s Stephen Kloss said the explosions occurred within minutes of each other, with the first blast striking the cafeteria in the women’s section of the International Islamic University campus while several students were present. The second struck the men’s section of the sprawling campus.

“Altogether there were around 3,000 students present at the university today,” said Kloss, minutes after the blasts. “Police are still trying to identify if the masterminds of the attack are still on the property of the campus.”

The attack came as Pakistani troops are conducting a massive military operation in troubled tribal area of South Waziristan near the Afghan border.

In the past few days, Pakistan has been rocked by a series of bloody attacks by Taliban militants, including a daring 22-hour siege of the army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near the capital earlier this month. More than 170 people have been killed in the attacks, which officials say bear the hallmarks of the Pakistani Taliban.

According to Kloss, most observers and residents believe Tuesday’s attack is “related to the incursion of the (Pakistani) army in South Waziristan.”

Security has been high in the capital following the military operations in the tribal region, said FRANCE 24’s Anne-Isabelle Tollet from the Pakistani capital. She said the government had advised school and university administrations to close during this period in anticipation of a possible backlash.

And it seems many organisations and businesses took the government's advice to shut their doors.

“The city is partly empty,” Kloss said. “Many shops are closed. Everyone was anticipating this kind of attack.”

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