Gunmen storm university in northwest Pakistan, at least 7 people killed, 20 injured

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This photograph taken from a mobile phone shows Pakistani security personnel taking position outside the Bacha Khan university following an attack by gunmen in Charsadda, about 50 kilometres from Peshawar, on January 20, 2016. Gunmen have attacked a university in northwestern Pakistan, injuring at least three people, and are still on the rampage, security and school officials told AFP in the latest assault to hit the militant-infested region. AFP PHOTO / A MAJEED / AFP / A Majeed (Photo credit should read A MAJEED/AFP/Getty Images)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan  — A university in the northwest of Pakistan has come under attack by armed militants, and at least seven people have reportedly been killed, with a further 20 injured.

It’s not yet clear how many of the dead are attackers and how many are civilians. [The Associated Press reported that a student and professor had been killed by the gunmen].

Gunfire and explosions were heard Wednesday morning local time from within Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, northwestern Pakistan.

There are still dead inside, and the operation is ongoing, Bilal Faizi, a local emergency service spokesman, told CNN.

There have so far been no claims of responsibility.

Two of the university attackers have been killed by security forces, Saeed Khan Wazir, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, of the Mardan Range region told CNN.

There are fears that the remaining attacker or attackers are holding hostages within the campus grounds.

Pakistan Army soldiers have entered the university, according to Geo News, citing  a reporter on the scene.

University faculty, administrative staff and students are in the university grounds. Five injured people have so far been evacuated from the campus, the report states.

“Security forces are present on site and are combating the terrorists in a gunfight, but as yet are not sure how many terrorists are holed up inside the university,” Geo News reported.

Earlier, the police and army were exchanging gunfire with the attackers and several explosions were heard from the area of the Bacha Khan University in the town of Charsadda, located some 21 miles outside the city of Peshawar.

Pakistani TV stations are broadcasting footage showing heavy military presence at the university, troops rushing in and people fleeing. Ambulances are at the scene and wounded are being taken to hospital.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. A Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar in December 2014 killed over 150 people, mostly children.

The Bacha Khan University is named after the founder of a liberal, anti-Taliban political party. Pakistani Taliban have in the past targeted the party for its anti-militant policies.


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