21 killed in Pak university attack
17 students, a professor killed; Pakistani Taliban claim responsibility
Suspected Islamist gunmen stormed a teeming university campus in Pakistan’s volatile northwest on Wednesday, killing 21 people, including a chemistry professor who tried to protect his students by firing at the militants.
A security official said the toll could rise as the army cleared out student hostels and classrooms at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, around 50km from Peshawar, in the KhyberPakhtunkhwa province.
Former cricket hero Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Party, which rules the province, initially said about 25 people were killed and 50 wounded in the attack. The death toll was later revised by police officials to 21.
The brazen attack coincided with the death anniversary of
renowned Pashtun leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan or Bacha Khan, the apostle of peace after whom the varsity is named.
The assault was claimed by
a Taliban faction led by Umar Mansoor, mastermind of the 2014 attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed nearly 150 people. “Our four suicide attack-
ers carried out the attack on Bacha Khan University today,” said Mansoor.
RELATED REPORTS, P16
Rescue workers carry an injured victim at Charsadda, Pakistan, on Wednesday.