As it happened: Gunmen storm Pakistan university; 21 dead

Four miliants have been killed; Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility for the attack on Bacha Khan University.

January 20, 2016 11:20 am | Updated November 17, 2021 03:09 am IST - Peshawar

A group of militants stormed a university in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, police said, with firing inside the campus still going on and two explosions heard.

Media reported that three gunmen entered the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and opened fire on students and teachers in classrooms and hostels.

Pakistan, which has suffered from years of militant violence, has killed and arrested hundreds of suspected militants under a major crackdown launched after a > massacre of 134 school children in December 2014 in the northwest.

Latest updates:

3.30 pm: Clearance operation ends with four gunmen dead: Army spokesperson, reports Reuters

2.45 pm: The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a university in a town near the city of Peshawar in the country’s northwest. A Taliban leader, Khalifa Umar Mansoor, made the claim in a phone call to The Associated Press from an undisclosed location. Mansoor was the mastermind mind the December 2014 attack on an army-run school that killed over 150 people, 144 of them children.

2:20 pm: Strongly condemn the terror attack at Bacha Khan University in Pakistan. Condolences to families of the deceased. Prayers with the injured, tweets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

1.54 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoles the killing of students in terrorist attack at a university in Pakistan.

1.52 pm: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claims responsibility for the attack. The banned outfit is also responsible for the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in 2014. - PTI

1.50 pm: Quoting a Rescue 1122 official said, Dawn said the boys section of the hostel has been affected and the victims have mostly been hit by bullets.

1.45 pm: The families of students have lined up outside the school. Up to 20 ambulances have entered the university to rescue the injured - Dawn

1.40 pm: Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the terror attack and directed security agencies to clear the University of terrorists at the earliest.

Sharif expressed sorrow and grief on the loss of precious lives in the terror attack and said those who attacked innocent students and citizens have no religion. “The government is committed to eliminate them,” he said.

1.30 pm: Pakistan's Tehrik-e-Insaf Party leader and provincial lawmaker Shaukat Yousafzai said that 25 people, including a professor, were killed and around 50 others injured in the terrorist attack on the University this morning - PTI

1.15 pm: University premises secured - Dawn

1.05 pm: confirms the death of 21 persons in the firing.

12.55 pm: Four terrorists killed so far and all buildings and rooftop taken over by Army. Around 90 percent of the area has been cleared, according to a rescue official. — Dawn

12.50 pm: 20 feared dead in attack on Bacha Khan university in northwest Pakistan: Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa lawmaker Shaukat Yusafzai - PTI

12.40 pm: Reuters reports that at least eight have been killed in the firing. Firing inside the campus still going on and two explosions heard.

12.35 pm: Vice Chancellor Fazal Rahim told reporters that the Bacha Khan University teaches over 3,000 students and hosted an additional 600 visitors on Wednesday for a poetry recital.

12.30 pm: Television footage showed soldiers entering the campus as ambulances lined up outside the main gate and anxious parents consoled each other.

12.20 pm: It is unclear how many gunmen are involved. The Pakistani military's media wing said the army had cordoned off the university with the militants inside and were carrying out air surveillance.

12.15 pm: The militants, using the cover of thick, wintry fog, scaled the walls of the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, before entering buildings and opening fire on students and teachers in classrooms and hostels, police said.

"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.

12.10 pm: Television channels quoted rescue officials as saying that a chemistry professor had been killed and 50 people wounded in the attack.

12.00 pm: 70 per cent of students had been rescued, according to Mr. Wazir.

11.55 am: Three security guards, one university lecturer and one student were critically wounded but there were no confirmed deaths, Wazir said.

11.50 am: Two of the gunmen were killed by security forces after the army moved into the university, Deputy Inspector General Saeed Wazir told Reuters, but other attackers were believed to be at large on the second and third floors of the campus buildings.

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