Bacha Khan University death toll mounts to 21, as another injured passes away
CHARSADDA: Death toll rose to 21, as another injured due to the attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda passed away on Thursday morning, ARY News reported.
The injured student named Mohammad Fayyaz was undergoing treatment at Lady Reading Hospital. According to the hospital administration, Fayyaz was brought in a critical stage to the hospital. As many as two people brought in an injured state from Bacha Khan University, have passed away.
In the district hospital of Peshawar, as many as 10 injured civilians and security officials are undergoing treatment. These patients have been declared to be out of the critical state. Hospitals have been put on high alert.
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Charsadda attackers used Afghan SIMs: DG ISPR
Holding a presser, DG ISPR, Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said that the security agencies have received important leads pertaining to the attack.
“We are quite close to the ones behind the attack, however it will be too early to share such sensitive information as multiple operations are still underway in search of the facilitators,” he said.
He added that a breakthrough has already taken place in the case as several telephonic intercepts were received in connection with the attack.
The identity of assailants and other details are being shared and soon all of the information will be shared with people through media.
‘Fight against terrorism to continue with full force’
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has telephoned Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and held an exchange of views over the Charsadda university attack.
In the wake of yet another deadly attack, the civil-military leadership agreed to continue the fight against terrorism with full force.
The prime minister also directed all the security agencies to launch a manhunt for the culprits of Bacha Khan University attack and their facilitators.
PM condemns attack
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who was in Zurich, to attend the World Economic Forum, said: “I’m deeply grieved over the attack and we are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland
Defence minister says 20 dead in the attack
Defence Minister Khwaja Asif, speaking in the National Assembly, said 20 people had been killed int he attack while security forces gunned down four terrorists.
He saidswift action from security forces during Charsadda university attack has averted big loss.
Three-day mourning announced in KP
The Khyber Pakhtonkhwa government has announced three-day mourning in the province in the wake of terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.
TTP not behind attack: Khorasani
Central spokesperson Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Muhammad Khorasani has denied any involvement in an attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.
He also refuting TTP commander Umar Mansoor’s claims that the militant group was behind the attack. Khorasani in an email sent to media said, “The TTP and its amir Maulana Fazaulllah have nothing to do with the attack.”
“We consider these youth studying in non-military educational institutes as our future, they are Muslims and their protection is our responsibility,” he stated.
“Those people who used the name of the Taliban in the attack will be tried in sharia courts,” the email added.
Indian PM Modi ‘strongly condemns’ university attack
List of wounded issued
Army chief reaches Charsadda university
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has arrived at the university. He is being given briefing by the security officers about clearance operations and the attack.
He then headed to the Charsadda hospital to inquire after the injured persons.
TTP claim responsibility for the attack
According to AFP, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Our four suicide attackers carried out the attack on Bacha Khan University today,” Umar Mansoor, a commander in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistani (TTP) militant group told AFP.
Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, he said it was in response to a military offensive against extremists in the tribal areas.
Imran says will personally inspect ‘loopholes’
PTI chairman said chief minister Pervez Khattak has been immediately called back from Scotland visit.
He said he will personally inspect loopholes that prompted attack on the varsity. He said he was in touch with the chief secretary KP and getting all information.
“District Nazim Charsadda has announced closure of all education institutions across the district till January 31.”
Teacher died fighting back
Students spoke of one hero teacher — Syed Hamid Hussain — fighting back against the intruders, shooting his weapon in a bid to protect his charges.
Geology student Zahoor Ahmed said his chemistry lecturer had warned him not to leave the building after the first shots were fired, reported the AFP.
“He was holding a pistol in his hand,” he said.
“Then I saw a bullet hit him. I saw two militants were firing. I ran inside and then managed to flee by jumping over the back wall.”
Another student told television reporters he was in class when he heard gunshots.
“We saw three terrorists shouting, ‘Allah is great!’ and rushing towards the stairs of our department,” he said.
“One student jumped out of the classroom through the window. We never saw him get up.”
He also described seeing the chemistry professor holding a pistol and firing at the attackers.
At least 25-30 people are feared dead in attack: KP minister
KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai, while speaking to ARY News, said 19 dead bodies and 20 injured had been brought to Charsadda hospital. while other injured persons have been moved to Peshawar for treatment, he added.
Minister said there were no threats to the Charsadda university.
Yousafzai, speaking on the crime site, said at least 25 to 30 people were feared dead in the attack.
According to foreign news agency AFP, the security forces had ended the operation against the gunmen. However no official announcement has been made so far in this regard.
“The death toll in the terrorist attack has risen to 21,” regional police chief Saeed Wazir told AFP without specifying if that included the four militants the army stated it had killed.
He said the operation had ended and security forces were clearing the area, with most of the student victims shot dead at a hostel for boys on the Bacha Khan University campus in Charsadda.
KP minister questioned over CM’s absence
KP minister Shah Farman arrived at the university and faced tough questions from the media. When asked whether Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had any information about foul play beforehand, Farman said the province need to look into foreign issues as well. He said the CM is out of country first time in two-and-a-half year.
Hence it’s totally wrong to say the chief minister had any prior information about the attack, he added.
The minister said the terrorists exploited fog to sneak into the university.
Aftab Sherpao said since three to four days, there were rumours circulating that a terrorist attack would take place at an educational institute.
DG ISPR General Asim Bajwa tweeted Pakistan Army had taken control over buildings in the university.
Total number of blasts which were heard from inside the university have amounted to 11. ISPR said as many as 4 terrorists have been killed in the security operation.
Imran to leave for Charsadda
According to sources, Imran Khan has decided to go to Charsadda, in wake of the horrific attack. Imran Khan would soon depart from Bani Gala towards Charsadda. Sources said, as many as 7 dead bodies have been shifted to a hospital, including an assistant professor. Distraught students and an eyewitness within the university were feverishly demanding an ambulance and were claiming several people had been killed.
Bacha Khan 28th death anniversary today
Today (January 20) is Bacha Khan’s 28th death anniversary, since he had passed away on 20th January 1988. DG ISPR confirmed aerial supervision of the security operation was being conducted. He also revealed that terrorists had been restricted within two blocks.
As per DIG Mardan, 2 terrorists have been killed in the on-going security operation in Bacha Khan University, Charsadda.
According to further details, as many as 10 blasts were heard from within the university, as sources disclosed 3 to 4 terrorists were surrounded.
Prof Syed Hamid Husain, a PhD in Organic Chemistry has been killed in the ongoing attack on Bacha Khan University. Professor Syed Hamid Husain had published seven research papers and was considered an expert in organic chemistry.
MPA Fazal Shakoor revealed the terrorists entered the university around 9 am.
A distraught student on the verge of breaking down told ARY News that he hid in the bathroom for 2 hours and was evacuated by security forces.
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Nobody has any idea so far how the attackers entered — they did use the cover of morning fog to enter: Assistant Commissioner Charsadda
An injured student revealed the militants entered from the rear entrance of the university. A university employee told ARY News that the security at the Bacha Khan University was minimal.
A helicopter was called in to assist with the operation but came under fire from militants. A total number of three helicopters of Pakistan Army are taking part in the operation to clear militants from the university. As many as 7 blasts in total were heard from inside the university.
An eyewitness said him along with a number of other students were hiding in the washroom since an hour when militants had opened fire inside the university. He also said there were many students present in the hostel as well. The eyewitness also said he was inside the university a couple of minutes ago, and a lot of gunfire could be heard.
Female students could also be seen whisked away from the university, as there was utter chaos and anarchy. Concerned parents had also arrived on the scene to ensure welfare of their children.
Pakistan Army soldiers entered the university premises to clear it from militants.
4 of the injured have been shifted to the hospital for medical treatment.
Two blasts were also heard from inside Bacha Khan university. Pakistan army soldiers also reached the university to clear it from militants.
According to police, it was difficult to identify the terrorists due to the fog. Police also confirmed that one police officer and several students were injured in the exchange of fire. A state TV reported students and administration officials were besieged because of the attack. ARY News reported shots could be heard from within the university.
According to the vice-chancellor of Bacha Khan University, as many as three thousand students were in the university and for the mushaira, six hundred other people had arrived. An ARY reporter quoted eyewitnesses as saying that a group of five armed men entered the university after firing several rounds. They entered at around 9 am and used the cover of morning fog. According to details, a mushaira was to be held in the co-educational university for students when armed militants entered the campus in groups and started opening fire.
As per initial details, several students were injured however it could not be confirmed if any of the injured students had been transferred to Charsadda hospital. Security forces had entered the university and were embroiled in a gun battle with militants. The vice-chancellor of the University is Dr Fazal-ur-Raheem Marwat and it was founded in 2012.
The exchange of fire between terrorists and security forces was taking place inside the university. According to sources, security forces have been put on high alert. ARY News’ correspondent also confirmed there were a large number of people inside the university when militants opened fire. Some people were able to escape the attack.
The attack comes slightly a year after the horrific one on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014 where armed militants killed over 140 people including over 130 students. Quite clearly the attack shows that there was a security lapse, despite the fact that Bacha Khan University is a privately-owned institution.