Pakistani university under attack — at least 20 dead – CNN

Zahoor Khan, a student at the university, said that he saw his chemistry professor shot while advising students to stay inside.

University faculty, administrative staff and students are still on the university grounds. Five injured people have so far been evacuated from the campus, the report states, but none of the 3,000 students and 600 guests on the university campus have been injured, according to Pakistani media, citing an audio message released by Fazal Rahim Marwat, vice-chancellor of Bacha Khan University.

“Security forces are present on site and are combating the terrorists in a gunfight, but as yet are not sure how many terrorists are holed up inside the university,” Geo News reported.

The university was founded in 2012 and named after Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a 1920s Pashtun independence activist and pacifist also known as Bacha Khan, who died in 1988. Today is the 28th anniversary of his death, according to media reports. Guests were gathered at the university to pay tribute to the activist, student Zahoor Khan said.

A heavy contingent of officers is currently taking part in an operation against at least three suspected militants, who are reportedly hiding out in different parts of the campus.

Bajwa, the army spokesperson, earlier tweeted that the attackers have been contained within two blocks of the university and operations are ongoing, and also said on Twitter that the Army was conducting air surveillance above the university.

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Prime Minister’s statement

“Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is deeply grieved over the sad incident of terrorists’ attack on Bacha Khan University, Charsada, which has reportedly resulted into the loss of precious human lives and injured many others,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s office read.

“While condemning the cowardly attack of the terrorists, the Prime Minister said that those killing innocent students and citizens have no faith and religion.”

The statement signed off with a quote from Sharif.

“We are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland. The countless sacrifices made by our countrymen will not go in vain,” the statement quoted the Prime Minister, who is currently in Zurich, as saying.

The past few days have seen an increase in militancy in the region, including an attack on a checkpoint in Khyber Agency, a region west of Peshawar that borders Afghanistan, where ten people were killed and 36 others injured.

The university, in Charsadda, near the border with Afghanistan, is less than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, site of a December 2014 attack by militants from the Pakistan iTaliban. One hundred forty-five people, including 132 children and the school’s principal, were killed in that attack.

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