A group of militants stormed a university in volatile northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday using the cover of thick fog, police said, with firing inside the campus still going on and two explosions heard.
Agencies reported that at least 25 are dead and all the attackers have been killed. The Tehreek-e-Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Watch Video: Bacha Khan University attack: Operation ends, four terrorist killed
The militants entered the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, early on Wednesday before opening fire on students and teachers in classrooms and hostels, two police officials said.
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3:50 pm: Clearance operation ends with four gunmen dead – Army spokesman.
3:30 pm: 25 killed and 50 others wounded.
2.45 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today condemned the killing of students in terrorist attack at a university in Pakistan.
“Tragic news of so many students shot dead in Bacha Khan University, Pakistan. Prayers,” Banerjee said in her official Twitter handle.
2:15 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the terror attack at the university.
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) January 20, 2016
#BREAKING: Death toll in Pakistan university attack rises to 21, operation ended: police
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 20, 2016
12.30 pm: The death toll in the attack has risen to eight, news agency Reuters reports, quoting officials.
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 20, 2016
12.15 pm: Reports also coming that there have been at least six explosions inside the University. It cannot be confirmed if the explosions were carried out by the terrorists or as a counter-operation by security officials.
Update Charsadda:Two more terrorists who were firing from inside the Block cordoned by Army troops,shot&killed.Op continues
— AsimBajwa (@AsimBajwaISPR) January 20, 2016
Update:Snipers killed 2 more terrorists on roof top,total Terrorist killed so far 4.All buildings&roof top taken over by Army.op continues-3
— AsimBajwa (@AsimBajwaISPR) January 20, 2016
12.10 pm: The Express Tribune reports that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsibility for the attack. A government official who could not be immediately identified said at least six people were killed in the attack. Meanwhile, The Dawn is reporting that at least 15 people have been killed, four of whom are security guards.
12.00 pm: In his first reaction to the attack Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said “sacrifices made will not go in vain.” “Those who kill innocent students and civilians have no religion,” Sharif said.
11. 45 am: Pakistan media, quoting police officials, claim that two terrorists have been killed by armed officials. There still isn’t any confirmation on how many terrorists entered the university.
Vice Chancellor Fazal Rahim told reporters that several students were stuck inside the campus buildings.
The army and police had moved into the university and a gunfight with the attackers was under way, Deputy Inspector General Saeed Wazir told Reuters. He said it was unclear how many gunmen were involved.
Television footage showed soldiers entering the campus as ambulances lined up outside the main gate and anxious parents consoled each other.
“We launched an operation inside the university and are trying to rescue the students and staff of the institution,” Wazir said.
Pakistan has killed and arrested hundreds of suspected militants under a counter-terrorism plan enacted after a massacre of school children in December 2014 in the northwest.
Police said the gunmen had used the cover of a thick fog on a wintry morning to storm the campus.
The Bacha Khan University teaches over 3,000 students and hosted an additional 600 visitors on Wednesday for a poetry recital, the vice chancellor said.
Shabir Khan, a lecturer in the English department, said he was about to leave the hostel for the department when firing began.
“Most of the students and staff were in classes when the firing began,” Khan said. “I have no idea about what’s going on but I heard one security official talking on the phone to someone and said many people had been killed and injured.”