Pakistan shuts schools and colleges after attack

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The Independent Online

Pakistan shut all educational institutions yesterday after two suicide bombings at a university, showing the power of militants to disrupt everyday life as they fight back against a major army offensive in the north-west.

On Tuesday bombers struck at the International Islamic University in the capital, Islamabad. Eight people died, including two women and the two attackers. All but one of the victims were students. "Godless, kill in God's name," read the headline of The News daily.

Rashid Mazari, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said schools and colleges would be closed until the end of the week to improve security measures.

Meanwhile, the army pressed forwards toward the Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud's home town of Kotkai. An army statement said forces were engaged in "intense encounters" in heights surrounding Kotkai.

The army said three more soldiers were killed, bringing the army's death toll so far to 16, while 15 more militants were killed, bringing their overall death toll to 105.