9 dead, 37 injured as gunmen storm hostel in Pakistan’s Peshawar

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International desk, December 01: Gunmen have stormed a college in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least nine people and injuring 37.At least three men disguised in burkas arrived in a rickshaw and entered the Peshawar Agriculture Training Institute on Friday morning.

All of the attackers were also killed, the army said. The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. Both police and military officials said the attackers had been coordinating with handlers based in Afghanistan. The college was thought to have been closed for the Eid-e-Milad holiday.

At least one blast was heard from inside the campus, according to media reports citing the military.

Police and army commandos cordoned off the site.

Eight students and an office worker were killed, police said.

One wounded student, Ahteshan ul-Haq, told Reuters that about 120 out of nearly 400 college residents were present during the attack, as most had gone home for a long holiday weekend.

“We were sleeping when we heard gunshots. I got up and within seconds everybody was running and shouting ‘the Taliban have attacked’,” he said.

Another student, Saleh, told the Dawn newspaper: “The terrorists shot at everyone who was roaming around and they were breaking doors down to attack students. Thankfully security personnel reached the hostel before those men came to our room – that is why we are alive.”

A Dawn reporter at the site said that suicide vests, three grenades, two bombs and a pistol were recovered from the institute building.

According to Dawn, Hayatabad Medical Complex Director Shahzad Akbar said six dead and 18 injured had been brought to the hospital. Khyber Teaching Hospital sources said they had received three bodies and 17 wounded.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said two soldiers had been injured in the reprisal to the attack. They had been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital for treatment.

Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

In 2014 Taliban militants attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, leaving 141 people dead in one of the worst assaults in the country’s recent history.

Source: Agencies