At least 19 people have been killed in a deadly assault on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan that began at 4:30 GMT and lasted nearly three hours.
It is suspected that Pakistani affiliates of the Taliban were behind the attack due to its noted similarities to the Taliban massacre that killed 130 students at a school in the city of Peshawar (30 miles from Charsadda) in 2014.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in a statement: “We are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland.”
There have been conflicting claims about who could be involved in the attack, a sign of the kaleidoscopic mix of militant networks evolving along the Pakistan-Afghan border region in the north.
The attack comes amid a sudden spike in militant violence in Pakistan, after a year of relative peace and quiet largely attributed to a 2014 military operation against militant sanctuaries in Waziristan. Questions are now being raised over whether that operation really destroyed the ability of militants to regroup and strike at will.
At least one of the victims, Syed Hamid Hussain, was a professor at the university. Shortly following, students paid tribute to his memory on twitter.
— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) January 20, 2016
Chemistry professor Syed Hamid Husain was killed in the Bacha Khan University attack — RIP pic.twitter.com/eKtUnVFW2C
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) January 20, 2016