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Militants storm Bacha Khan University, leaving 21 dead, scores injured

“The non-violent soldier of Islam died 28 years ago, but the terrorists continue to attack his legacy”

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: A group of militants stormed Bacha Khan University in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkha on Wednesday morning and opened fire on students and faculty members.

At least 21 people were killed and more than 50 others received injures in the attack. It is feared that the death toll might increase as report regarding casualties had not been confirmed.

The attack took place at a time when the university students and teachers were busy in preparation to commemorate the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, also known as Bacha Khan, after whom the varsity is named.

The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Geedar group commander, Umar Mansoor, claimed the attack on his Facebook page, adding that four attackers entered into the university.

Soon after his statement, TTP’s spokesman Mohammad Khorsani released a conflicting statement in which he stood against the attack and not only condemned it but also termed it against the Islamic teachings.

“Those who use the name of TTP will be brought to the book,” Khorasani warned.

Umar Mansoor was also the mastermind of the Army Public School attack in Peshawar in December 2014 which left over 150 people dead, mostly schoolchildren.

Sources said that the four attackers wearing suicide vest were killed by security forces before they could detonate their explosives.

Military spokesperson Lt. Gen Asim Bajwa said that four attackers were killed in the operation.

Security forces cordoned off a one-story house, situated around a kilometer from the university’s boundary wall, where three terrorists were believed to be holed up. It was later declared clear by military personnel.

“Bacha Khan, non-violent soldier of Islam, died 20.1.1988. The assault on the university in his name is an assault on his legacy,” said Mukulika Banerjee, author of The Pathan Unarmed.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum meeting, in a press statement slammed the attack and said he is deeply grieved over the attack at the university.

“Those killing innocent students and citizens have no faith and religion,” Nawaz said. “We are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland,” he added.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also condemned the attack and offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.

The attack took place only one day after eleven people were killed in a suicide attack in Peshawar. The suicide bomber riding a motorcycle struck a crowded police checkpoint on the outskirts of Peshawar city on Tuesday, killing 11 people in the attack.

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