BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  World: South Asia
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Sunday, 17 March, 2002, 19:47 GMT
Bush condemns Pakistan killings
Inside of the church after the attack
Police said three grenades exploded inside the church
President George W Bush has condemned as "an outrage" the grenade attack on a Christian church in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, which killed five people, including a US embassy administrator and her daughter.

A Pakistani and an Afghan were also killed. The fifth victim has not been identified. More than 40 people were injured, including 10 Americans.

I strongly condemn them as acts of murder that cannot be tolerated by any person of conscience nor justified by any cause

President Bush
Mr Bush said the attack could not be justified by any cause and he pledged to work with the Pakistani authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf also condemned the attack, saying his government remained undeterred in its fight against terrorism in all its forms.

People from eight different countries were among those injured. They are reported to include Sri Lanka's ambassador to Pakistan, his wife and child.

Wounded include:
12 Pakistanis
10 Americans
Five Britons
One Afghan
Five Iranians
Three Sri Lankans
One Ethiopian, one German, one Iraqi
No group has said it carried out the attack, but reports say suspicion is falling on hard-line Islamic groups opposed to Pakistan's support for the US-led war on terror.

Up to 70 people had been in the Protestant International Church in the high security diplomatic quarter of the city when the attack took place.

Bombers escape

Police say at least two men burst in and tossed six grenades at the congregation before escaping.

Three grenades exploded but the others failed to detonate.

Victims of the attack receive treatment in a local hospital
Victims were taken to a local hospital
American Cindy Jess said: "I saw two men come into the back of the church and throw what looked like hand grenades.

Elisabeth Mundhenk, 54, of Hamburg, Germany, said she hid under a piano when the first explosion rocked the church, but still suffered shrapnel wounds.

"There was blood, blood, blood," she said while awaiting treatment. "It was horrific. There was a horrible smell and we could barely breathe."

Son injured

Nick Parham, a Briton who works for the Tearfund aid agency, said: "One chap came down the aisle a couple of feet away from me. He had a belt on with a whole load of what looked like British army smoke grenades or home-made grenades.

"He had one in his hand. At that point I hit the deck. There were five or six explosions."

The US Embassy identified the dead Americans as Barbara Green and her daughter Kristen Wormsley, a student at the American School in Islamabad.

Members of the congregation outside the church
Worshippers were left in a state of shock
Mrs Green and her husband, Milton, both worked at the embassy - she in administration and he in the computer division.

A son, whose name has not been released, was slightly injured.

The BBC's Zaffar Abbas, in Islamabad, says the incident has posed a major challenge for President Musharraf.

He has declared that the campaign against extremist Islamic groups will continue but he may have to do much more to convince people, both at home and abroad, that Pakistan is a safe place.

Attacks on Christians in largely Muslim Pakistan are relatively rare, although a shooting incident in October 2001 in the eastern province of Punjab left 18 dead.

The BBC's David Shukman
"There was no obvious security"
US ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlain
"We will not give in to those driven by hate"
The BBC's Graham Satchell in Washington
"He said he was outraged"
See also:

04 Jan 02 | South Asia
Pakistan rounds up militants
29 Oct 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Pakistan's Christian minority
17 Mar 02 | South Asia
In pictures: Pakistan church blast
28 Oct 01 | South Asia
Christians massacred in Pakistan
07 Jan 02 | South Asia
Analysis: Musharraf on a tightrope
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories