CHARSADDA: At least 20 people including four security guards, two students, a professor and a police man were martyred and dozens sustained injuries when armed militants stormed Bacha Khan University in Charsadda early on Wednesday, rescue sources said. Four terrorists have also been killed by security forces.
As per latest reports, banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Darra Adamkhel has claimed responsibility of the attack.
The militants, using the cover of thick, wintry fog, scaled the walls of the university , before entering buildings and opening fire on students and teachers in classrooms and hostels, police said. Now all the students have been safely evacuated from the blocs. Now spell of firing has been stopped and clearance and evacuation operation by security forces is under way, DG ISPR.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement issued from Zurich said he is “deeply grieved” over the attack at the university.
“Those killing innocent students and citizens have no faith and religion,” the statement said. “We are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland.”
The prime minister is in Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum.
Imran Khan chief of PTI condemning the terrorist attack on the university said that security forces and police extended superb job to save hundreds of lives. He appreciated the police role and Army role to control the situation. There are 64,000 institutions and departments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and it is very difficult to provide security to all the departments but provincial government is trying hard to save lives of local people. He said that they would not allow terrorists to fulfill their nefarious aims.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak said that we are in a state of war against terrorists and we are striving hard to eradicate this menace. He said that volatility in Afghanistan inflicts worst affect on Pakistan. He said that he will return back to Pakistan while cutting short his foreign tour.
Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said that security officers stopped the terrorists while risking their lives. We should not give any such impression that terrorists can hold hostage our normal lives. Federal government is fully in contact with provincial government.
Qaumi Watan Party leader Aftab Sherpao said that the federal government should inform the people that what steps are being taken to eradicate the menace of terrorism.
ANP leader Zahid Khan said that National Action Plan has not been implemented by the government in letter and spirit. Concept of good Taliban and bad Taliban still persisted.
Earlier, Provincial Information Minister Shah Farman has confirmed death of 14 people.
Hospital sources said 19 bodies were brought at District Headquarters Charsadda.
Talking to a private TV channel, a woman inside the university said intense firing was underway. She was asking for help, saying assistance be sent to the premises.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Dr Fazal Rahim said four security guards were wounded in the terrorists attack. He said more than 3000 students are present in the varsity, adding that no student and teacher sustained injuries.
About 600 guests, arrived to participate in Mushaira (poetry recital), also stranded in the campus.
Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) stated that Pak Army contingents have arrived at the campus and launched operation.
DG ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa in message on Twitter said terrorists have been contained in two blocks within the varsity, adding that troops and special commandos are taking part in the operation, which is still going on.
Pakistan Army snipers killed four terrorists and all buildings and roof top have been taken by the military, the ISPR updated.
The ISPR added that clearance of the university was underway block to block by security forces and no firing was being heard.
Sources said a professor of Chemistry Department, Dr Hamid has been killed in the firing, while more than 50 people have been shifted to hospital.
The Bacha Khan University in Charsadda is about 50 kilometres from Peshawar.
Police said they have killed two of the militants who attacked university.
An eyewitness told that there are at least 10 terrorists present inside the university.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister Shaukat Yousufzai said at least 25 people were martyred in terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University. More than 50 injured, says minister.
Army chief General Raheel Sharif arrived in Charsadda in wake of the attack at Bacha Khan University.
Three gunmen broke into the university and opened fire at students and teachers in classrooms and hostels.
There was no immediate report of casualties.
Two explosions were heard inside the university, a police official said.
Local police official Amjad Khan, who was outside the university, said firing was still going on inside the campus.
Deputy Inspector General Saeed Wazir told Reuters that the number of gunmen was unclear but police had moved into the university and a gunfight with the attackers was under way.
“We launched an operation inside the university and are trying to rescue the students and staff of the institution,” Wazir said.
Shabir Khan, a lecturer in the English department, said he was about to leave the hostel for the department when firing began.
“Most of the students and staff were in classes when the firing began,” Khan said.
“I have no idea about what´s going on but I heard one security official talking on the phone to someone and said many people had been killed and injured.”