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Terrorism & Security

Pakistani Army senior officer gunned down in Islamabad

The attack in Islamabad, Pakistan, appears to be the first targeting a high-ranking official. No group has claimed responsibility yet, but the Taliban has said it was behind other recent attacks.

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Sporadic attacks far from the battle zone are gripping the nation with fear. The BBC reports that the Tuesday bombings at the International Islamic University in Islamabad, which left eight dead and at least 18 wounded, have led to school closures nationwide. Threatening calls placed to schools and colleges in Lahore have upset residents, reports Dawn.

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However, the police said a majority of such calls were 'prank....'
After the [International Islamic University in Islamabad] attacks, local police officers visited famous universities, including the Punjab University (PU) and the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), and asked their managements to improve security. Police sources told Dawn that some unidentified people phoned two leading universities on Jail Road and a renowned school-cum-college on The Mall and threatened to blow up the buildings.
A similar call was also received by a media organisation and a threatening letter by the administration of the Lahore Press Club.

As concerns rise that Pakistan could be destabilized by the Taliban, the local Daily Times says in an editorial that the attack on an institution of Islamic learning may have cost the group support and exhibited its "increasing desperation."

The TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) may be about to lose the support at campuses where most students tended to look at them positively and were in favour of "talks" with the Taliban.... A glimpse of this was offered by the Punjab University where the vice-chancellor led a march of protesting boys and girls against Tuesday's outrage at the Islamabad Islamic University.
The terrorists have gradually abandoned the broad support they had among the largely conservative majority of Pakistan's population. By doing what they did in Swat they proved that it was a deliberate act. From a majority of those who accepted the "cause" of the Taliban, the country now has a minority that would still support the so-called "Islamic enterprise" their leader Hakimullah [Mehsud] has announced from South Waziristan. This is the moment when the resolve to face up to the challenge of terrorism should become even stronger.

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