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You are here: GBC Business News Gunmen Kill at Least 25 at University in NW Pakistan

Gunmen Kill at Least 25 at University in NW Pakistan


2016-01-20 11:30

A gun and bomb attack on a university in northwestern Pakistan Wednesday killed at least 25 people and wounded dozens more, officials and hospital sources said.

A group of four “terrorists” stormed Bacha Khan University in the town of Charsadda about 9 a.m. and opened fire on students and teachers, according to security sources.

Regional deputy inspector general of police, Saeed Wazir Khan, said at least two suicide bombers were among the terrorists who attacked the university.   

The spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Mohammad Khorasani, said the group had nothing to do with the university attack, adding that non-military institutions are not on its list of targets. In a statement sent to VOA, Khorasani declared Wednesday's attack against "Islamic Shariah."

Soldiers gather outside Bacha Khan University where an attack by militants took place, in Charsadda, Pakistan, Jan. 20, 2016.
Soldiers gather outside Bacha Khan University where an attack by militants took place, in Charsadda, Pakistan, Jan. 20, 2016.

Provincial Governor Mehtab Abassi briefly spoke to reporters after visiting the university and said that army-led security forces killed all the attackers and their clearing operation has been concluded.

Without discussing the total number of attackers or the number of casualties they caused, Abbasi said bodies of at least four terrorists were still inside and forensic experts were trying to identify the gunmen.

Casualties

Earlier, a spokesman for the provincial ruling party, Mushtaq Yousufzai, spoke to reporters shortly after visiting the scene and said the attack left about “25 to 30 people,” mostly students, dead. He said he would release exact casualty figures once the security operation is completed.

Yousufzai added at least 50 people have been taken to nearby hospitals, most of them with bullet injuries.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, currently in Zurich, has condemned "the cowardly attack" and said he was "deeply grieved over the sad incident.

An official statement quoted Sharif as reiterating Pakistan's resolve "to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland."

The university in the Khyber Pakhtunkhaw province has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students.

No one has yet claimed responsibility.

Charsadda is located about 50 kilometers from the province capital of Peshawar, where militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in December of 2014 and killed nearly 150 people, mostly children.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up near a security checkpoint separating Peshawar from the Khyber tribal district, killing at least 12 people.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack.

A teacher walks with a pair of crutches following her rescue after a group of militants stormed the Bacha Khan University in Charsada, Pakistan, Jan. 20, 2016.
A teacher walks with a pair of crutches following her rescue after a group of militants stormed the Bacha Khan University in Charsada, Pakistan, Jan. 20, 2016.
News provided by VOA.

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