At Least 20 Killed in Attack on Pakistan University
Taliban claims responsibility after gunmen storm campus
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 20, 2016 1:20 AM CST
Updated Jan 20, 2016 6:31 AM CST
Rescue workers shout to clear the way for an ambulance transporting injured victims from Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
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(Newser) – Gunmen stormed a university in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least 20 people and triggering a heavy gunbattle with police and army troops who rushed to the scene in a town near the city of Peshawar, officials say. The attack began shortly after Bacha Khan University opened for classes in the town of Charsadda, some 21 miles outside Peshawar, says Deputy Commissioner Tahir Zafar. Pakistani TV stations broadcast footage showing a heavy military presence at the university, troops rushing in, and people fleeing.

The Pakistani army says the attackers have been contained in two university blocks and that four of them have been killed. Bacha Khan University is named after the founder of a liberal, anti-Taliban political party. The Pakistani Taliban have in the past targeted the party for its anti-militant policies. CNN reports that the Taliban have now claimed responsibility for the university attack, saying it was revenge for another military operation.