The death toll in a gun and explosives attack on a university in northwestern Pakistan has risen to 21, AFP reports quoting police, adding that security forces had ended the operation against the gunmen.
“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.Dawn adds: The mastermind of the APS Peshawar attack, Omar Mansoor, of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed the attack through a post on his Facebook page, adding that four attacker were sent to the university.
As the military announced the end of the clearance operation, mass casualties were feared in the attack reminiscent of the deadly December 2014 terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar which left over 140 dead — most of them students.
Sources added that the four attackers were wearing suicide vests but were killed by security forces’ before they could detonate their explosives.Military spokesperson Lt.Gen Asim Bajwa said four attackers have been killed. Security personnel, including SSG personnel went inside the school to control the situation.
Security forces cordoned off a one-storey house, situated around a kilometre from the university’s boundary wall, where three terrorists were believed to be holed up. It was later declared clear by military personnel.