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Charsadda attack: Students in the line of fire — again

Updated 20 Jan, 2016 04:50pm

At least 21 people died in an armed assault on the Bacha Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkha’s Charsadda town on Wednesday.

Witnesses reported two large explosions as security forces moved in under dense fog to halt the bloodshed.

Police, soldiers and special forces swarmed the university from the ground and the air in a bid to shut down the attack.

A Pakistani army vehicle (R) enters the Bacha Khan university following an attack by gunmen in Charsadda. — AFP
A Pakistani army vehicle (R) enters the Bacha Khan university following an attack by gunmen in Charsadda. — AFP
Soldiers prepare to take positions outside the Bacha Khan university. Militants, using the cover of thick, wintry fog, scaled the walls of the varsity. — Reuters
Soldiers prepare to take positions outside the Bacha Khan university. Militants, using the cover of thick, wintry fog, scaled the walls of the varsity. — Reuters
People gathered outside the Bacha Khan University react as updates of the casualties trickle out. The gunmen attacked as the university prepared to host a poetry recital on Wednesday afternoon to commemorate the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. — Reuters
People gathered outside the Bacha Khan University react as updates of the casualties trickle out. The gunmen attacked as the university prepared to host a poetry recital on Wednesday afternoon to commemorate the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. — Reuters
A teacher (L) walks with a pair of crutches following her rescue. Vice Chancellor Fazal Rahim told reporters that the university teaches over 3,000 students and was hosting an additional 600 visitors on Wednesday for the recital. Students spoke of one teacher, named by the media as Syed Hamid Hussain, fighting back against the intruders, shooting his weapon in a bid to protect his students. — Reuters
A teacher (L) walks with a pair of crutches following her rescue. Vice Chancellor Fazal Rahim told reporters that the university teaches over 3,000 students and was hosting an additional 600 visitors on Wednesday for the recital. Students spoke of one teacher, named by the media as Syed Hamid Hussain, fighting back against the intruders, shooting his weapon in a bid to protect his students. — Reuters
Troops and rescue workers gather at the main gate of the university. — AP
Troops and rescue workers gather at the main gate of the university. — AP
A Pakistan army helicopter flies over the Bacha Khan University as the troops on the ground cleared the area. — AP
A Pakistan army helicopter flies over the Bacha Khan University as the troops on the ground cleared the area. — AP
Rescuers shift an injured person outside the university. — AFP
Rescuers shift an injured person outside the university. — AFP
Rescue workers carry coffins at a local hospital. Emergency was declared across hospitals in the province, and PTI's Shaukat Yousafzai told media some of the injured were taken to Peshawar.— AFP
Rescue workers carry coffins at a local hospital. Emergency was declared across hospitals in the province, and PTI's Shaukat Yousafzai told media some of the injured were taken to Peshawar.— AFP
Relatives and friends surround the coffin of a student, who was killed in a militant attack at Bacha Khan University, outside a hospital in Charsadda. -Reuters
Relatives and friends surround the coffin of a student, who was killed in a militant attack at Bacha Khan University, outside a hospital in Charsadda. -Reuters
Pakistani soldiers cordon off the site at Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants in Charsadda. -AFP
Pakistani soldiers cordon off the site at Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants in Charsadda. -AFP
Pakistani army soldiers take part in search operation at the Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants in Charsadda. -AFP
Pakistani army soldiers take part in search operation at the Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants in Charsadda. -AFP
Pakistani army soldiers take part of search operation at the Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants. -AFP
Pakistani army soldiers take part of search operation at the Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants. -AFP
An army helicopter (R) carrying Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif arrives at Bacha Khan university. -AFP
An army helicopter (R) carrying Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif arrives at Bacha Khan university. -AFP
Chief of Army Staff General Raheef Sharif (R) arrives at Bacha Khan university following the attack. -AFP
Chief of Army Staff General Raheef Sharif (R) arrives at Bacha Khan university following the attack. -AFP
Pakistani rescue personnel carry a victim at Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants in Charsadda. -AFP
Pakistani rescue personnel carry a victim at Bacha Khan university following an attack by militants in Charsadda. -AFP
Pakistani army soldiers rescue people from Bacha Khan university. -AFP
Pakistani army soldiers rescue people from Bacha Khan university. -AFP
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif talks to a man injured in an attack Bacha Khan university, at a local hospital in Charsadda. -AP
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif talks to a man injured in an attack Bacha Khan university, at a local hospital in Charsadda. -AP
A Pakistan Army helicopter flies past a mosque during an operation after a militant attack at Bacha Khan University. -Reuters
A Pakistan Army helicopter flies past a mosque during an operation after a militant attack at Bacha Khan University. -Reuters