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Terrorists attack Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, 20 martyred

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PESHAWAR:(APS ) Jan 20,2016– Around four terrorists entered Bacha Khan University in Charsadda district, roughly 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the city of Peshawar, on Wednesday morning, killing 20 people and injuring several others, APS News reported.

Medical Superintendent (MS) of the District Headquarter Hospital Charsadda confirmed the death toll.

Regional police chief Saeed Wazir told media that 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 Bacha Khan University campus.

Police, soldiers and special forces launched a ground and air operation at the university in a bid to shut down the assault. Dozens of personnel in combat fatigues and automatic weapons piled out of transport vehicles as helicopters buzzed overhead and ambulances with sirens wailing approached the scene.

DG ISPR Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa stated that four terrorists were contained and killed in two blocks of the university premises.

Emergency was declared at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where condition of some injured persons is said to be critical.

Worried parents and relatives of students in large number gathered outside the university.

There were male and female staff members and students inside the campus, said Fazal Raheem Marwat, vice chancellor at the Bacha Khan University, adding he had been on his way to work when he was informed of the attack.

“There was no announced threat but we had already beefed up security at the university.”

Students spoke of one hero teacher — named by media as Syed Hamid Hussain — fighting back against the intruders, shooting his weapon in a bid to protect his charges.

Geology student Zahoor Ahmed said his chemistry lecturer had warned him not to leave the building after the first shots were fired.

“He was holding a pistol in his hand,” he said.

“Then I saw a bullet hit him. I saw two militants were firing. I ran inside and then managed to flee by jumping over the back wall.”

Another student told television reporters he was in class when he heard gunshots.

“One student jumped out of the classroom through the window. We never saw him get up.”

He also described seeing the chemistry professor holding a pistol and firing at the attackers.

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“Then we saw him fall down and as the terrorists entered the (registrar) office we ran away.”

Talking to media, Deputy Commissioner Tahir Zafar Abbasi said that situation is under control now. Firing in the university premises has stopped.

Naik Mohammad, security chief at the university, said the attackers had entered close to a campus guest house.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Our four suicide attackers carried out the attack on Bacha Khan University today,” Umar Mansoor, a TTP commander and mastermind of Peshawar school attack told AFP.

Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, he said it was in response to a military offensive against militants in the tribal areas.

Peshawar was the location of Pakistan‘s deadliest ever extremist attack, when Taliban gunmen stormed an army-run school in December last year and slaughtered more than 150 people, most of them children, in an hours-long siege.

The attack on the school prompted a crackdown on extremism in Pakistan, with the military increasing an offensive against militants in the tribal areas where they had previously operated with impunity.

The incident comes a day after a suicide bomber killed at least 10 people Tuesday in a rush-hour attack on a market on the outskirts of the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Another 36 were injured when the bomb exploded alongside a road jammed with traffic in the Wazir Dhand district just outside city limits. The highway links the Khyber tribal district and the northwestern city.

The dead included a 36-year-old journalist who had been visiting a tribal police official — the bomber’s apparent target — in the market. A hospital official said a seven-year-old was among the dead and six of the injured were in serious condition.

Ismatullah, a senior government official in the area, also confirmed the target had been a police official sitting in the market alongside the road.

The blast also damaged three shops, as well as cars and motorcycles on the road.

Khyber is one of Pakistan’s seven tribal districts situated next to Peshawar and bordering Afghanistan.

The mountainous forest regions have for years been home to some of the world’s most notorious militants linked to Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

Pakistan launched a military offensive in 2014 that has reportedly killed thousands of militants and pushed the rest over the border to Afghanistan, resulting in improved security inside Pakistan.

However, insurgents associated with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan occasionally carry out attacks from bases in Afghanistan

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