Peshawar: Five burqa-clad Taliban militants on Fri stormed a government research institute in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar and opened fire, killing at least 9 people, including students, before getting shot dead by security forces.
The militants attacked the college student hostel of the Directorate of Agriculture Extension on the University Street in the city, the capital of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Security officials said that militants clad in burqa used an auto rickshaw to get to the building.
They stormed the building by shooting with automatic weapons, creating panic, officials said.
A spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Muhammad Khurasani, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP
“Our mujahids have attacked the building because it was used as an office for ISI, God willing our fighters will fight till the last drop of blood,” he said, discussing Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
Hospital authorities said 9 people mostly students were murdered in the assault. 32 persons were also wounded in the attack.
Salahuddin Mehsud, Inspector General of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said timely action by the police force and the Army helped in minimizing the number of deaths.
A senior police official said all the terrorists were wiped out by security forces.
The area where the incident occurred is a hub for educational institutions in the town like the University of Peshawar.
An interior ministry official told AFP that cellular networks have been suspended in several cities across the nation for security reasons.
The event comes amid tight security across Pakistan as it celebrates the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed.
Security was also tight after weeks-long anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad that witnessed 7 murdered and 100s injured in clashes with police.
Violence erupted over the weekend after police and paramilitary forces launched a bungled attempt to clear the sit-in, igniting fresh demonstrations in cities across the nation, including in Karachi and Lahore.
The protests were finally ended just days ago under a military-brokered deal.
In December 2014, a Taliban assault on the army-run school in Peshawar killed 151 people, mostly school children.