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Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 08:56 GMT 09:56 UK
School raid suspects 'commit suicide'
Security forces examine a bag left behind by the attackers
At least six people died in Monday's attack
Three men suspected of attacking a Christian missionary school for foreigners in Pakistan on Monday have committed suicide, police say.


The men were wearing clothes similar to those worn by the Murree attackers

Haseeb Hussain,
Kashmir police
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 three blew themselves up in a village in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the school at Murree, north-east of Islamabad.

"These are the same attackers," a Kashmir police officer, Hajee Syed Haseeb Hussain, told the Associated Press news agency.

He said the men were dressed in clothes similar to those worn by the Murree attackers, and that their grenades matched those recovered at the school.

'Cowardly'

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


Rescue workers carry the body of one of those killed in the Murree attack
Pakistan attacks:
  • 14 June - bomb outside US Karachi mission kills 11
  • 8 May - Karachi bus blast kills 15
  • 17 March - five killed in Islamabad church grenade blast
  • October 2001 - 18 killed in Punjab church attack


  • The gunmen - who the government says were Islamic militants - opened fire indiscriminately, but were chased off after a gun battle with security guards.

    Pakistan has condemned the attack as a "cowardly act of terrorism".

    Correspondents say that because the school has mainly foreign staff and students, the attack appears to have been aimed at Western interests, rather than Pakistan's Christian minority.

    Previous attacks on foreign interests in Pakistan have been blamed on Islamic militants angry at Islamabad's support for the US-led war on terror.

    About 150 children, almost all of them foreigners, study at Murree, which is about 70 km (40 miles) north-east of the capital.

    The school is reported to be considering whether it should remain open.

    'Al-Qaeda link'

    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.

    Police found a note left at the scene claiming the attack was in revenge for the ill-treatment of Muslims in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    The note was reportedly sent by a previously unknown group called al-Intiqami al-Pakistani (Revenge of the Pakistanis).

    Islamic groups are also accused of carrying out two bomb attacks on foreign targets in the southern city of Karachi since March, killing 26 people.

    The authorities suspect most of these attacks have been carried out either by members of al-Qaeda or their supporters in Pakistan.

    Musharraf's Pakistan

    Democracy challenge

    Militant threat

    Background

    TALKING POINT

    FROM THE ARCHIVES

    BBC WORLD SERVICE
    See also:

    05 Aug 02 | South Asia
    05 Aug 02 | South Asia
    05 Aug 02 | South Asia
    14 Jun 02 | South Asia
    08 May 02 | South Asia
    28 Oct 01 | South Asia
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