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Gunmen storm Pakistan university leaving 20 dead

A gang of Taliban militants stormed a northern Pakistan university, killing at least 20 people and wounding 19, authorities said.

Explosions rang out amid foggy conditions at the start of classes at Bacha Khan University, where Pakistani police and army officers exchanged gunfire with attackers from the terrorist group Wednesday morning.

Police took control of the school approximately six hours after the 9:15 a.m. assault began.

Pakistani rescuers carry an injured man to a hospital following an attack by gunmen in the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.A MAJEED/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani rescuers carry an injured man to a hospital following an attack by gunmen in the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.

Survivors of the attack said assailants reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they attacked students and faculty during the deadly shooting 21 miles northeast of Peshawar. Four of the gunmen were killed by Pakistani service members.

Soldiers cleared the school “block by block” after snipers gunned down two of the militants, Pakistani General Asim Bajwa said.

The attack took the lives of at least 13 students, a chemistry professor and one of the university’s drivers. Several of the school’s security guards and a police officer were also killed, an official wrote on the school’s Facebook page.

A teacher walks with a pair of crutches following her rescue after a group of militants stormed the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan on Wednesday.FAYAZ AZIZ/REUTERS

A teacher walks with a pair of crutches following her rescue after a group of militants stormed the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan on Wednesday.

Of those wounded, officials said six victims were students, one was a security guard and another was a constable.

The assailants “started firing with heavy weapons indiscriminately,” the official said.

BILAWAL ARBAB/EPA

People move the bodies of a victims of the attack that killed at least 20 people and wounded 19.

Enlarge BILAWAL ARBAB/EPA

People gather around the bodies of the victims after the attack at Bacha Khan University.

Enlarge

Bodies of victims are moved after the attack at Bacha Khan University that killed at least 20 people and wounded 19.

Pakistani rescuers workers carry an injured man to a hospital following Wednesday's attack.HASHAM AHMED/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani rescuers workers carry an injured man to a hospital following Wednesday’s attack.

Taliban leader Khalifa Umar Mansoor claimed responsibility for the killings in a phone call to the Associated Press.

Mansoor has targeted education centers in the past. In December 2014, his fighters targeted a school in Peshawar, killing more than 150 people, mostly children.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif did not hesitate to condemn Wednesday’s rampage as a terrorist attack.

GRAPHIC CONTENTA MAJEED/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani security personnel move in after the attack at Bacha Khan University.

“We are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland,” said Sharif. “The countless sacrifices made by our countrymen will not go in vain.”

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak was attending a meeting in the UK when he heard of the massacre, but pledged to return home as soon as possible.

“Shocked and saddened by today’s incident,” Khattak tweeted. “I have shortened my visit to the UK and immediately coming back to Pakistan.”

The school, named after the founder of a liberal, anti-Taliban political party, had planned a poetry reading in honor of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the Pashtun leader.

Khan, also known as Bacha Khan, a tribal leader and Gandhi disciple,died in 1988 at age 98. A terrorist attack killed 17 mourners at his funeral.

With News Wire Services

nhensley@nydailynews.com

Tags:
pakistan ,
taliban ,
terrorism

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Nation / World – NY Daily News

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