- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 20, 2002

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Pakistan fired Islamabad's police chief and four other senior police officials yesterday after a deadly grenade attack on a Protestant church frequented by foreigners.
The shake-up came as police said they would send the United States DNA samples from the body of a man they suspect carried out the attack that killed five persons, including two Americans.
Forty-five persons, most of them foreigners, were injured when an attacker hurled grenades in the church in a heavily guarded diplomatic quarter near the U.S. Embassy during a Sunday morning service.
The attack on the Protestant International Church has prompted the State Department to warn Americans against traveling to Pakistan. It "underscores the possibility that terrorists may seek civilian targets," the warning said.
Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca cut short a visit to India and went to Pakistan, where the U.S. Embassy said she and Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, met yesterday with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
Mrs. Rocca was expected to accompany the bodies of the American dead embassy employee Barbara Green and her 17-year-old daughter, Kristen Wormsley back to the United States.
Gen. Musharraf, who reviewed the case with top security and regional officials yesterday, ordered "immediate and effective steps" to improve law and order.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but investigators focused on Islamic extremists who were outraged by Gen. Musharraf's support for the United States in its war on terrorism.
Attacks linked to Muslim militants have surged throughout Pakistan since Gen. Musharraf banned five Islamic extremist groups in January.
The kidnap-slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in January was also considered part of an extremist campaign to embarrass the government and undercut Western support.
The Nation newspaper reported that police were investigating whether the church attacker was linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network.
A senior Interior Ministry official, Tasneem Noorani, said authorities believe the church was attacked because of the large number of Americans and other foreigners in the congregation.


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