Two suicide bombers attacked the International Islamic University in Pakistan today, targeting a women’s cafeteria and the Islamic law department. The attack killed at least 4 and wounded 18 others, BBC reports. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack thus far.
One student told the BBC that “There were gunshots at first and then two explosions one after the other. One was just outside the gate of the girls’ cafeteria and the other one targeted the head of the department for Sharia studies…I was near that office. Two of my friends were injured, they were taken to the hospital. I am in shock. Now we are not even safe in our universities.”
The Associated Press reports that the University has over 12,000 students, nearly half of them are women, and many come from abroad. The attack is the first since October 16th, when Pakistan’s army began an offensive against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the northwest near the Afghan border.
In Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, violence against schools that educate girls is part of their opposition to the education of women. A girls’ school was bombed in northern Pakistan earlier this year and last December the Taliban announced an education ban for women and girls in the Swat Valley. More than 130 schools in that area, many of which were all girl institutions, have been destroyed, allegedly by the Taliban, in the past year.