Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Peshawar (BNA) At least 20 people have been killed, including students and a professor, as gunmen attacked a university in northwest Pakistan, a provincial minister says.
The assault began on Wednesday morning at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, about 140km from the capital Islamabad.
Analysis - Gunmen attack university in northwest Pakistan
Provincial Minister for Health and Information Shaukat Yousafzai added that over 50 people have been injured.
A local journalist has told Al Jazeera that the death toll is likely to rise as the military operation is still ongoing.
Police officials have confirmed that six gunmen have been killed. Local media reports that the attack has been claimed by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.
The university has over 3,000 enrolled students and was hosting an additional 600 visitors on Wednesday for a poetry recital on the death anniversary of the Pashtun activist Abdul Ghaffar 'Bacha' Khan, the vice chancellor said.
"Around 200 students have been safely evacuated from an examination hall in the university," the Provincial Public Health Engineering Minister Shah Farman said.
Local authorities have announced the closure of all education institutions across Charsadda until January 31.
Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said security forces' initial operations were hampered by heavy fog.
"According to police sources, three attackers entered the university of about 3,000 students. Eyewitnesses are saying they've heard number of explosions and they can still hear the gunfire.
"Elite police units and the Army have entered the compound and are trying to evacuate the students. A military helicopter is aiding the operation.
"The university is situated next to an open field and that's where the attackers might have entered the premises from."
Deputy Inspector General Saeed Wazir told Reuters news agency that police had moved into the building and a gunfight with the attackers was under way.
"We launched an operation inside the university and are trying to rescue the students and staff of the institution," Wazir said.
Shabir Khan, a lecturer at the English department, said he was about to leave the hostel for the department when the shooting began.
"Most of the students and staff were in the classes when the firing began," Khan said.
On Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up close to a police checkpoint in the Jamrud area of northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 10 people and wounding more than 20.
At least 144 people, most of them children, were killed when armed men attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Peshawar (BNA) At least six people, including a Khasadar Levy man, were killed and 56 others were injured in a suicide attack in Khyber Agency's Jamrud area on Tuesday.
The casualties were shifted to Peshawar's Hayatabad Medical Complex. Security sources say six of those injured were in critical condition.
Political Agent (PA) Shahab Ali Shah told DawnNews that the suicide bomber was aiming to enter his office but the plot was foiled because of the strict security measures in place at the complex. Therefore, the bomber could not enter the premises and blew himself up at the entrance gate, Shah said.
The PA said six people, including a Khasadar Levy man were killed in the blast, while 56 other people were injured. At least 16 Khasadar Levy personnel were among the injured.
Khyber Agency is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous regions governed by tribal laws and lies near the Afghan border. The Taliban and other Al Qaeda-linked groups who stage attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan are also known to have strongholds in the zone.
Pakistan has been suffering from frequent bomb and suicide attacks blamed on extremist militant groups and the country's troops have for years been fighting homegrown armed groups in the tribal belt.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani claimed responsibility for the attack in an email sent to journalists.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Peshawar (BNA) At least 11 people were killed when a deadly blast ripped through a security check post in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar. The check post is located near the Karkhano Market area.
Scores of security forces have been deployed in the area following the explosion. Local reports suggest the death toll is likely to increase. It is yet to be ascertained whether it was a suicide blast or an explosion carried out by a remote-controlled device.
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Six of the dead were security personnel. Pakistan's Geo News said a child was among the dead. About five of the 16 injured people are thought to be in critical condition.
Gunfire was reported shortly after the explosion, though it has yet to be confirmed. A Jamrud khasadar line officer, Nawab Shah's car was the target of the attack, a security official told the Express Tribune. The bombing took place in the semi-autonomous tribal belt area which is located on the border with Afghanistan. The border region is known to be a safe haven for Islamist militants.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
QUETTA (BNA) At least 14 people were killed and over 10 injured in an explosion near a polio centre in Quetta's Satellite Town on Wednesday, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the attack on Facebook and in an email sent to journalists.
"The blast was apparently carried out by a suicide bomber," Bugti said, speaking to media after the blast.
Thirteen of the dead are policemen while one of them is an FC official, he said.
Thirteen of the dead are policemen while one of them is an FC official.
"We will not bow down before terrorists," said Bugti, adding that the blast was an effort to disrupt peace in Balochistan.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police Quetta Syed Imtiaz Shah said seven to eight kilogramme of explosives were used in the blast. He said most of the victims were policemen who laid down their lives to guard polio workers.
An intelligence officer who declined to be named confirmed to DawnNews that it was a suicide attack.
"Body pieces of the suicide bomber have been collected by security agencies to initiate a probe into the incident," said the official.
The casualties were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta, where an emergency has been imposed.
Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti speaks to media after the blast.
Dr. Rasheed Jamali, a senior doctor told DawnNews that at least five critically injured victims were shifted to Combined Military Hospital Quetta for treatment.
Eyewitnesses at the site said they heard firing after a loud blast rocked the area. The glass windows of nearby buildings shattered due to intensity of the blast.
Police and rescue workers reached the site soon after the blast, while security forces have cordoned off the area. The nature of the blast is unknown as yet.
Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Zehri while strongly condemning the blast directed police to submit a report about the incident promptly.
"We cannot tolerate the terrorism," he said in a statement issued to press soon after the explosion.
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast in Quetta.
In his statement, the premier said government is committed to stamp out extremism from the country and operation will continue till elimination of all terrorism, reported Radio Pakistan.