Terror attack on Pak varsity leaves at least 25 dead

20 January 2016

At least 25 people were killed and about 50 others injured today after heavily-armed Taliban militants stormed a prestigious university and opened indiscriminate fire on students and teachers in Pakistan's restive northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The gunmen entered the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda district of the province, some 50 kms southwest of Peshawar, and opened fire on students and teachers in classrooms and hostels, media reports said.

Multiple blasts and heavy gunfire were heard from inside the university campus.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Party leader and provincial lawmaker Shaukat Yousafzai said that 25 people, including a professor, were killed and around 50 others injured in the terrorist attack on the university this morning.

Details were still scanty, with claims on the number of deaths running from 15 to 60.

The Pakistan military said four of the attackers have been killed.

Emergency has been declared at all hospitals, and schools have been closed in the area. Security personnel and army troops are carrying out an operation in the area.

The attack comes a little over a year after Taliban gunmen stormed Army Public School in December 2014 and slaughtered more than 150 people, most of them children, in an hours-long siege.

The university, in Charsadda, near the border with Afghanistan, is less than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Army Public School.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and said sacrifices won't go in vain. "Those who kill innocent students and civilians have no religion," he said.

According to the Express Tribune, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack. TTP commander Omar Mansoor said that the attack was carried out by four attackers.

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