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20 martyred as militants storm Bacha Khan university in Charsadda

Security forces and police have launched operation and exchange of fire between the militants and the forces is underway.

By Web Desk
January 20, 2016

CHARSADDA: At least 20 people including four security guards, two students, a professor and a police man were martyred and 20 others sustained injuries when armed militants stormed Bacha Khan University in Charsadda on Wednesday morning, rescue sources said.

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.

Federal Minister for Defence, Khawaja Asif confirmed 20 deaths and as many injured.

Earlier, hospital sources said 19 bodies were brought at District Headquarters Charsadda.

A spokesman for the rescue workers, Bilal Ahmad Faizi, said 19 bodies had been recovered including students, guards, policemen and at least one professor.

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), are 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 tops 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. 

Firing had ended after several hours and four militants had been killed, the army said.

Sources said a professor of Chemistry Department, Dr Hamid was killed in the firing, while more than 50 people were 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 the university.

Reuters added three gunmen broke into the university and opened fire at students and teachers in classrooms and hostels.

Two explosions were heard inside the university, a police official said.

Deputy Inspector General Saeed Wazir told Reuters that the number of gunmen was unclear but police had moved into the university. 

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.”