At least 20 people have been killed, including students and a professor, in an attack on Bacha Khan University in northwest of Pakistan.
The terrorists entered the university campus via a low wall at the back of the compound and made their way across the grounds. The gunmen opened fire on students and faculty as they gathered for a poetry event. The security guards of the educational institute engaged the enemy in fierce firing while the students evacuated the university campus.
In less than an hour, military soldiers equipped with handling such circumstances were on the ground alongside university guards and provincial police force. More than a dozen ambulances reached the university main gate to help severely wounded, transporting them to a nearby hospital. Among the injured, those who could stand on their own walked past the rescuers in the opposite direction.
Four suspected attackers were shot dead by the security forces as they responded to the alarming situation. It took couple of hours to declare the area safe as the security forces went from block to block. The investigation is under way to establish the identities of involved gunmen. The attackers were very young and they carried AK-47 guns.
Umar Mansoor, Pakistani Taliban spokesman, said the attack was in retaliation for military operations against the group. Mansoor was also the mastermind behind the Army Public School attack, which killed 130 pupils in December 2014.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif grieved over the sad incident while condemning the cowardly attack of the terrorists. He said that those killing innocent students and citizens have no faith and religion.
Majority of the students were attending the 28th death anniversary of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Pashtun independence activist also known as Bacha Khan. There were number of guests at the university to pay tribute to the man when the militants came. On the contrary, dozens of students were still asleep in their rooms because they didn’t have class. IMAGE/Getty Images