Taliban Claims Then Denies Responsibility For Attack On A University In Pakistan That Leaves At Least 21 Dead

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At least 21 are dead and dozens more wounded at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Peshawar in Pakistan.

A senior Pakistani Taliban commander claimed responsibility for the assault, but an official spokesman later denied involvement, calling the attack “un-Islamic.”

The four terrorists were killed along with at least 21 civilians. It is expected that the number of civilian deaths will increase.

Wednesday was the 28th anniversary of the death of the man the university is named after, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a 1920s Pashtun independence activist and pacifist also known as Bacha Khan. Guests were gathered at the university to pay tribute to the man when the militants came, said student Zahoor Khan. It is expected that the university had about 600 additional guests to the 3,000 students normally enrolled at the school for the ceremony.

The attackers threw grenades and opened fire on campus, timing the attack to occur when classes were in full swing to maximize casualties.

A student told DawnNews the attackers were college-aged kids themselves.

“The attackers were like us — they were very young. They carried AK-47 guns. They wore jackets like the forces do,” said the student. “There was firing between attackers and security forces. After everything was over, the army men knocked on our room and told us we were safe.”

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