ISLAMABAD – At least 14 people have died, including five militants, and 25 people were wounded on Friday in an attack on a department of the University of Peshawar in northern Pakistan, officials said.
“A total of 5 terrorists have been killed. Nine people including eight students and a guard have been killed. While 25 other people, including students, police and troops are injured,” Bashir Dad, a senior police officer from Peshawar, told EFE.
A Peshawar police spokesperson, Abdul Wali, told EFE that the attack, which has been claimed by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the country’s main Taliban group, began when three burqa-clad fighters in a rickshaw entered the campus near the university’s Department of Agriculture, where there is also a student hostel, and opened fire.
The spokesperson said that because Friday was a public holiday to commemorate Prophet Mohamed’s birthday, several students had been staying at the hostel.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the country’s main Taliban group, claimed the attack in a statement that specified that three of its combatants had perpetrated the attack.
It added that the attackers had killed dozens, and claimed that the institution is not a university but an undercover center of the Pakistani secret services, the ISI.
“This attack is a reaction to the continued brutalities by the intelligence agencies of Pakistan on Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and innocent people, especially prisoners and clerics,” the TTP said.
This is not the first attack on a university in Pakistan.
A Taliban attack on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda in January this year left 25 people dead.
The worst attack against an educational institution occurred in December 2014, when a group of insurgents attacked a school in Peshawar, leaving 151 people dead, including 125 children.
Pakistan has launched several military operations against insurgent groups throughout the country in recent months following multiple major attacks in 2017.