A group of terrorists stormed a university in volatile northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday morning using the cover of thick fog, police said, with firing inside the campus still going on and two explosions heard.
The terrorists 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.
Media reported that a chemistry professor had been killed and 50 people wounded in the attack.
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.
“Police told me that firing is continuing on the campus,” said Fazal Raheem Marwat, vice chancellor at the Bacha Khan university in Charsadda, roughly 50 km from Peshawar. “At the moment I have no details about the casualties from the attack.”
“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.”
Terror attack university in northwest Pakistan