Burka-clad gunmen linked to Pakistan’s Taliban attacked an agricultural college in Peshawar, killing at least nine people and injuring 38 others as the Muslim-majority country marked Muhammad’s birthday.
Sky News reports:
In the firefight that ensued, they were confronted by police and paramilitary troops, who killed all the assailants.
Police chief Salahuddin Mahsud said troops were searching and clearing the building after eliminating the attackers, and television footage showed bullet holes in walls, bloodstains, and broken glass.
During Friday’s attack, the jihadists reportedly killed at least nine people and injured up to 38 others, including several who remain in critical condition.
Peshawar Police Chief Muhammad Tahir Khan revealed that authorities killed three of the four terrorists.
Police said four burka-clad terrorists opened fire on the gates of the Agriculture Training Institute, in Peshawar, injuring the guard before making their way inside. The attack occurred as Pakistan marks the birthday of Muhammad, who Muslims around the world consider the central prophet of their faith.
Peshawar Police Chief Muhammad Tahir Khan said three gunmen had been killed and that security forces were carrying out a clearance operation inside the building to track down any remaining militants.
“I rushed to the door and saw a fountain of blood pumping out of the shoulder of my roommate who was standing outside the room,” said Noor Wali, a 19-year-old student at the institute who hid from the terrorists for more than an hour along with his seriously wounded friend, reports Sky News.
“We took shelter inside the bedroom and were begging the injured student not to make any sound as the terrorists might hear it and kill us,” added Wali.
TTP and the Afghan Taliban consider themselves two distinct terrorist groups.
Islamabad has long accused Kabul of harboring TTP jihadists who the Pentagon has acknowledged maintain a presence along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan and the United States have accused Pakistan of willingly serving as a sanctuary for the Afghan Taliban.
The Pentagon reported this year:
The Afghanistan-Pakistan border region remains a sanctuary for various groups, including al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e- Tayyiba, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), [Islamic State-Khorasan Province] ISIS-K, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Sanctuary on the Pakistan side and presence on the Afghan side remain a security challenge for both countries and pose a threat to regional security and stability.
According to the U.S. military, the Afghanistan-Pakistan region is home to the “highest concentration” of jihadist groups in the world.