Pictures of Pakistan university where Taliban gunmen executed 30 people

Blood-soaked bedrooms and bodies littered on stairs: First pictures inside the Pakistan university where Taliban gunmen executed at least 30 people after storming campus while students slept

Taliban militants stormed a university in volatile northwestern Pakistan today, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens as the army hunted for any gunmen still holed up on the campus.

Fanatics stormed the Bacha Khan university in Charsadda, around 30 miles from the city of Peshawar, in the latest outrage to hit the militant-infested region.

A security official said the death toll could rise to as high as 40 as army commandos cleared out student hostels and classrooms.

Many were apparently shot in the head execution-style as militants armed with AK-47 machine guns stalked the premises.

Victims included students, guards, policemen and at least one teacher, who was hailed a hero after firing back at the attackers to protect his students.

The militants, using the cover of thick, wintry fog, scaled the walls of the premises before entering buildings and opening fire on students and teachers in classrooms and hostels, police said.

Students told media they saw several young men wielding AK-47s storming the university housing where many students were sleeping.

‘They came from behind and there was a big commotion,’ an unnamed male student told a news channel from a hospital bed in Charsadda’s District Hospital.

‘We were told by teachers to leave immediately. Some people hid in bathrooms.’

Witness hailed one hero teacher named by media as Syed Hamid Hussain – fighting back against the intruders, shooting his weapon in a bid to protect his students.

Geology student Zahoor Ahmed said his chemistry lecturer had warned him not to leave the building after the first shots were fired.

‘He was holding a pistol in his hand,’ he said.

‘Then I saw a bullet hit him. I saw two militants were firing. I ran inside and then managed to flee by jumping over the back wall.’

Another student told television reporters he was in class when he heard gunshots.

‘We saw three terrorists shouting “Allah is great!” and rushing towards the stairs of our department,’ he said.

‘One student jumped out of the classroom through the window. We never saw him get up.’

He also described seeing the chemistry professor holding a pistol and firing at the attackers.

‘Then we saw him fall down and as the terrorists entered the (registrar) office, we ran away.’

Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain confirmed the lecturer, Dr Hamid, had died.

Television footage showed military vehicles packed with soldiers driving into the campus as helicopters buzzed overhead and ambulances lined up outside the main gate while anxious parents consoled each other.

A senior security officer said 90 per cent of the campus had been secured after a three-hour gunfight with the militants ended, and that 51 people were wounded and four gunmen were killed.

Umar Mansoor, a senior Pakistani Taliban commander and the mastermind of a student massacre in December 2014 at a military-run school in nearby Peshawar, claimed responsibility for the assault and said it involved four of his men.

The gunmen attacked as the university prepared to host a poetry recital on this afternoon to commemorate the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a popular ethnic Pashtun independence activist after whom the university is named.

Vice Chancellor Fazal Rahim told reporters that the university teaches over 3,000 students and was hosting an additional 600 visitors on Wednesday for the recital.

Police inspector Saeed Wazir said 70 per cent of the students had been rescued.

‘All students have been evacuated from the hostels, but militants are still hiding in different parts of the university and some students and staff are stuck inside,’ he said before the firing had stopped, adding that it was unclear how many gunmen were involved.

Shabir Khan, a lecturer in the English department, said he was about to leave his university housing 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.’

Several schools had closed early on the weekend around Peshawar after rumours circulated of a possible attack.

Pakistan, which has suffered from years of jihadist militant violence, has killed and arrested hundreds of suspected militants under a major crackdown launched after the massacre of school children in December 2014 in Peshawar.

The school attack by six Pakistani Taliban gunmen hit a raw nerve in Pakistan and was seen as having hardened Pakistan’s resolve to fight militants along its lawless border with Afghanistan.

‘We are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland,’ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in a statement after todays’s attack.

Naik Mohammed, security chief at the university, said the attackers had entered close to a campus guest house.

The 2014 Taliban assault on the Peshawar school was Pakistan’s deadliest ever attack, and prompted a crackdown on extremism in Pakistan.

After a public outcry, the military launched an offensive against extremists in the tribal areas where they had previously operated with impunity.

Pakistan’s Jinnah Institute said in a report released Tuesday that the National Action Plan (NAP) helped curb extremist violence last year, although targeted attacks against religious minorities spiked in the Muslim nation of some 200 million people.

The university is named after Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, nicknamed Bacha Khan or Pacha Khan.

He was a Pashtun independence activist who campaigned against the rule of the British Raj. January 20 today is the 28th anniversary of his death.

The attack came a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up close to a police checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 10 people and wounding more than 20.

The bomber rammed his motorcycle into a police vehicle next to the roadside checkpoint in the Jamrud area on the edge of Pakistan’s volatile Federally Administered Tribal Areas, local government official Munir Khan said.

Last month, a suicide bomber attacked a government office in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 23 people.

A suicide bomber blew himself up close to a police checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 10 people and wounding more than 20
A man mourns at the suicide blast site in northwest Pakistan’s Peshawar, where at least ten people died

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Source: By Daniel Piotrowski and Jenny Awford For Daily Mail Australia and Simon Tomlinson for MailOnline

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