2 Americans Die in Pakistan Church Attack

Security Is Tightened Nationwide

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, MARCH 17, 2002 (Zenit.org).- An American woman and her daughter were among five people killed when attackers lobbed grenades inside a Protestant church during a Sunday service here.

There was no claim of responsibility but suspicion fell on hard-line Islamic groups opposed to President Pervez Musharraf´s support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism, Reuters reported. Americans, Britons and other expatriates were among the 60 to 70 worshippers inside the Protestant International Church in the capital´s diplomatic enclave.

Witnesses said the sermon was under way when they heard an explosion at the back of the church. Then they saw at least one man laden with grenades coming up the aisle. Most worshippers dived for cover as five or six explosions ripped through the church. Police said there were two attackers.

The U.S. Embassy identified the dead Americans as Barbara Green and her daughter Kristen Wormsley, a senior at the American School in Islamabad, the Associated Press reported. Green and her husband, Milton Green, worked at the embassy.

A Pakistani and an Afghan were also among the dead and 41 people were wounded, according to a senior police officer. The nationality of the fifth person killed was not known. Security was tightened in other parts of Pakistan, including the port city of Karachi where kidnapped U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl was murdered last month.

Today´s attack follows the killing of 15 worshippers and a police guard at St. Dominic´s Church in the city of Bahawalpur in October — the worst assault on the country´s Christian minority since independence from Britain in 1947.

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