CHARSADDA — A group of terrorists on Wednesday morning attacked Bacha Khan University in Charsada, officials confirmed.
The mastermind of the APS Peshawar attack, Omar Mansoor, of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed the attack through a post on facebook.
However, a spokesperson from the TTP Mohammad Khorasani issued a conflicting statement shortly after Mansoor’s claim, in which Khorasani condemned the attack, terming it “against Shariah”.
Khorasani also warned that those “using the naming of TTP will be brought to justice”.
Law enforcement agencies and rescue teams have rushed to the university campus, while eye witnesses say that gunfire can be heard from university premises.
Police confirm 21 dead
Military says 4 attackers killed, gunfire over
Armed assailants scaled university walls and opened fire
Multiple blasts were heard along with continuous heavy gunfire
3,000 students enrolled in the university
According to reports, the university campus and hostels are being evacuated and people from surrounding areas have been instructed to avoid coming closer to the university.
“The death toll in the terrorist attack has risen to 21,” regional police chief Saeed Wazir told AFP without specifying if that included the four militants the army stated it had killed.
He said the operation had ended and security forces were clearing the area, with most of the student victims shot dead at a hostel for boys on the campus
The remaining terrorists are giving stiff resistance to security forces as they continue the clearance operation. Intelligence sources say eight to 10 terrorists are still inside the school. Intelligence sources say the terrorists are between 18 and 25 years old.
There are reports of nine severely injured people have been admitted to district headquarter hospital so far. Four security guards are also among the injured.
According to a local media, eye witness compare the attack to Army Public School (APS) attack.
Professor among dead
DIG Saeed Wazir confirmed that two students and assistant professor Dr Hamid, who taught organic chemistry at the school, have been killed in the attack.
“All students have been evacuated from the hostels, but militants are still hiding in different parts of the university and some students and staff are stuck inside,” Wazir said.
The attack comes on the same date as his death anniversary when a poetic symposium has been organized on campus.
Asfanyar Wali, who is a grandson of Bacha Khan, said it was condemndable that despite the National Action Plan (NAP), little came about in terms of curbing terrorism.
PTI provincial spokesperson Shaukaut Yousafzai said ‘terrorists are breathing their last and wanted to pull something in their last days’
The Bacha Khan University is a public university approximately 15 kilometers from Charsadda main. It is named after the peace activist and leader Bacha Khan whose message of peace remains the motto of the university.