Attack on Pakistan University leaves 19 Dead
- By Sydny Shepard
- Jan 20, 2016
Gunman raided Bacha Khan University in northwest Pakistan on Jan. 20, timing their attack to a ceremony at the school to ensure maximum causalities.
After security forces combed the campus block by block after the massacre, it was reported that 19 civilians were dead, although they expect the number of deaths to increase over the course of the investigation.
The attack disrupted a ceremony that where students and faculty members were paying tribute to Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a 1920s Pashtun independence activist and pacifist also known as Bacha Khan, for which the school is named after. Guests were gathered together when the militants came.
The group took advantage of the low security model, avoiding the two security guards posted at the main gate of the university. The attackers entered from the back and were able to sneak around in the low visibility provided to them by the thick blanket of fog that covered the campus that morning. Once they were spotted they threw grenades and began open firing.
Law enforcement officials rushed onto campus and gunfire was exchanged between the two groups for almost three hours before the event was over. Pakistani military and police set up a perimeter around the campus to ensure that no unauthorized beings came in or out.
The attack took place less than 25 miles from where the Pakistan Taliban slayed 145 people, including 132, in a school attack in December 2014.
It is unclear whether the group is responsible for the deaths at the university. There are some reports that they are as a spokesman for the Pakistan Taliban explained that the attack could be in retaliation for military operations against the group. Another spokesman denied having any role in the attack.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.