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By Ashwini Prabha Wansolwara Online (USP)

SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 12, 2001 – Wansolwara Online/Pasifik Nius)---Shock, numbness and disbelief swept over academics, local and American students at the University of the South Pacific today.

This comes in the wake of the worst terrorist attack in the United States.

Staff and students gathered in the Wansolwara Online newsroom to watch latest news bulletins on the attack broadcast on Fiji Television.

As President George Bush described the terrorists who mounted the attack involving four hijacked domestic airliners as "faceless cowards," staff and students spoke out strongly in condemnation of the terrorism.

"This is cowardly and totally barbaric. Countries should be diplomatic," said Teweiariki Tearo, a Kiribati lecturer in the department of education and psychology.

David Womac, senior education lecturer from the United Kingdom, said: "It is unbelievable that man could do such an act to his fellow man. I’m afraid to think what is next."

With part of the defense headquarters -- the Pentagon -- partly destroyed, fears were raised in regard to defense if further attacks are made.

The Fiji Military Forces also expressed shock at today’s destruction in New York.

"We are shocked," said Captain Ned Taito, a spokesperson for the RFMF.

Students who spoke to Wansolwara Online expressed shock and fear of a possible world war.

"I think its another world war," said one student, Shekhar Sharon. Others also echoed this view.

Some were obviously sad and depressed at such a devastating event.

"It involved innocent lives," said Sharon McGowan, a secretary in the geography department

Concern was also raised about the state of the world market and family members and relatives.

Professor Ian Gaskell, a Canadian who teaches theater arts in the department of literature and language, said: "Markets are plummeting. It's shocking that the center of world finance has been attacked."

He said that the horrifying visuals of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center building in Manhattan and the collapsing buildings would stay with people forever.

Emily Van Eman, an American student from Kansas, said: "I feel violated and numb. I would hate to see a nuclear war outbreak."

Title -- 3420 TERRORISM: Shock, numbness at USP mark terrorist strike in US Date -- 12 September 2001 Byline – Ashwini Prabha Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Wansolwara Online, 12/9/01 Copyright -- USP Journalism Status -- Unabridged

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