Pakistan: security tightened around churches following attack

 In the wake of the attack on Sunday in a crowded church in Islamabad, the government has ordered strict security around all churches throughout Pakistan. Five people, including two Americans, were killed and 46 others injured in a grenade attack on the Protestant International Church. "We have strengthened p security around churches throughout Pakistan and placed security agencies on high alert," interior secretary Tasneem Noorani said. He echoed suspicions that Sunday's attack on the church service, attended mainly by expatriates, diplomats and their families, was linked to the geo-political regional situation. President Pervez Musharraf is a frontline ally in the US-led 'war on terror' in Afghanistan. Some Pakistani religious extremists had called for a Jehad against the American forces. "A thorough investigation has been launched to hunt down the culprits and get to the people who are behind it," Noorani said. Sectarian killings in Pakistan are mostly between Sunni and Shia Muslims and attacks targeting Christians are rare. However, 16 Christians were killed in a massacre at a church in Bahawalpur in October in an attack blamed on extremists.

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