9 People Killed as Burqa-Clad Taliban Attack Pakistani College

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) -
Pakistan terror
Pakistani troops take position outside the agriculture institute stormed by terrorists in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Friday. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)

Pakistani Taliban gunmen disguised in all-enveloping burqas stormed the campus of an agricultural college in Pakistan on Friday, killing at least nine people and wounding 35, police and hospital officials said.

Police and army troops summoned to the scene killed all of the terrorists at the Agriculture Training Institute in the northwestern city of Peshawar about two hours into the attack, the military’s press wing said.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying in a message from spokesman Mohammad Khorasani that they had targeted a safe house of the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

The terrorists arrived at the campus in an auto-rickshaw, disguised in the burqas worn by many women in the region, Peshawar police chief Tahir Khan said. They shot and wounded a guard before entering the campus.

A wounded student, Ahteshan ul-Haq, told Reuters the university hostel usually houses nearly 400 students, but most had gone home for a long holiday weekend and only about 120 students remained.

“We were sleeping when we heard gunshots. I got up and within seconds everybody was running and shouting, ‘The Taliban have attacked,’ ” he said.

The Pakistani Taliban later released a video showing the attack, recorded with what appeared to be a body-mounted camera. In it, one of the gunmen raced into a building shouting, “All-ahu Akbar!” and firing his weapon as he went room to room searching for students.

The terror group also issued images of the attackers, whom they said were from nearby Swat Valley, singing with the movement’s fugitive leader, Mullah Fazlullah, before their mission.

In December 2014, Pakistani Taliban gunmen killed 134 children at Peshawar’s Army Public School, one of the single deadliest attacks in the country’s history.

The Pakistani Taliban is fighting to topple the government and install a strict interpretation of Islamic law. It is loosely allied with the Afghan Taliban, which ruled most of Afghanistan until overthrown by U.S.-backed military action in 2001.