Pak­istani school at­tack raises se­cu­rity ques­tions

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Once again, Is­lamic mil­i­tants stormed a school in north­east­ern Pak­istan in a deadly at­tack that lasted for hours. And once again, the blood of stu­dents and teach­ers stained class­rooms and hall­ways, rais­ing ques­tions about whether se­cu­rity forces are able to pro­tect the coun­try's ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions from ex­trem­ists.

At least 20 peo­ple were killed and 23 were wounded Wed­nes­day in the as­sault at Bacha Khan Univer­sity in Charsadda be­fore the four gun­men were slain. Two teach­ers were among the dead, in­clud­ing a chem­istry pro­fes­sor who was praised as a hero for shoot­ing back at the at­tack­ers and al­low­ing some stu­dents to es­cape.

The univer­sity at­tack was grimly rem­i­nis­cent of the De­cem­ber 2014 mas­sacre at an army pub­lic school in nearby Pe­shawar that killed 150, mostly chil­dren. A break­away fac­tion of the Tal­iban took re­spon­si­bil­ity for the univer­sity at­tack, al­though a spokesman for the larger Tal­iban or­ga­ni­za­tion de­nied hav­ing any­thing to do with it and called it “un-Is­lamic.”

AP PHOTO

Pak­istani women light can­dles dur­ing a vigil for vic­tims of the Bacha Khan Univer­sity at­tack, Wed­nes­day in Pe­shawar, Pak­istan.

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