PESHAWAR: Four ‘burqa-clad’ terrorists stormed the Peshawar Agricultural Training Institute under the cover of fire this morning, killing at least nine persons including a student, however all of the attackers were killed by security forces in an hour-long operation.
Of those nine dead, six bodies were brought to Hayatabad Medical Complex, while three were taken to Khyber Teaching Hospital, confirmed sources.
The attackers were wearing a full-face burqa (veil) and came in a rickshaw, said IG Khyber Pakhtonkhwa Salahuddin Mehsud while speaking to ARY News.
According to military’s public affairs wing, ISPR, all the four attackers have been killed in the security forces operation. The clearance operation was launched afterwards. Two soldiers also sustained injuries who were moved to Combined Military Hospital for treatment.
The area where the incident occurred is a hub for educational institutions in the city including the university of Peshawar.
The varsity is closed today on account of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi.
Agriculture Directorate is located in front of the Agriculture University where gunmen opened fire at and entered the building under the cover of fire.
Those injured in the attack include a gatekeeper, journalist of a Channel-24 channel, two students among others.
‘Taliban claim responsibility’
A spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Muhammad Khurasani, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to foreign wire service AFP.
“Our mujahids have attacked the building, God willing our fighters will fight till the last drop of blood,” he said.
Eight students safely evacuated
ISPR said eight students were safely evacuated from the directorate of the university. The attackers were initially reported between three and four in numbers and all were killed, said the military spokesperson.
The army contingent had reached the spot soon after the attack was reported and joined the security forces for operation.
IG KPK Mehsud had earlier confirmed that at least four persons were injured including two students in the attack.
The police contingent has reached the site and cordoned off the route leading to the university. The rapid response force has also initiated the action.
Security was also tight after weeks-long religious groups protests in Islamabad that saw seven killed and hundreds wounded in clashes with police.
Security has improved in Pakistan over the past few years but a spate of attacks in recent days, and a threat by hardline militants to unleash a new campaign against the government, has raised fears of bloodshed.
Pakistan army on June 15, 2014 had formally launched a full scale operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ against ‘local and foreign terrorists’ in tribal areas ‘on the directions of the government’.
The government had announced a 20-point National Action Plan after the Peshawar school massacre in 2014, the main thrusts of which included expanding counter-terrorism raids, secret military courts and the resumption of hangings.