In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban killed 145 people – mainly children – in a horrific attack on a school in Peshawar.
Today, less than 40km away, a militant group led a similar attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.
Militia made their way through the university during a popular ceremony, in order to maximise casualties. The ceremony was for the 28th anniversary of the death of the man the university was named after, Abdul Ghaffer Khan. The attackers threw grenades at the attendees first, then opened fire.
A witness to the attack spoke to CNN, saying the attackers were very young:
“The attackers were like us, they were very young. They carried AK-47 guns. They wore jackets like the forces do.”
The man who was allegedly behind the 2014 school attack, Umar Mansoon, claimed full responsibility for the attack on behalf of the Pakistani Taliban, saying that the attack was in retaliation for military operations against the terror group.
But another spokesperson for the group, Mohammad Khurrassani, said they had nothing to do with the attack.
However, CNN counter-terrorism analyst Phil Mudd believes that the Pakistani Taliban are definitely responsible:
“We’ve seen consistent operations by the Taliban up in this area. I see this as simply as retaliatory, that is the Taliban saying, ‘If you’re going to bring Pakistani special forces and the army up into our turf, you’re going pay a heavy price.'”
At least 19 people were killed in the ghastly attack, but provincial home minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mehmood Khan, said he believed the death toll of the innocent would rise.
Photo: Barcroft Media / Getty.