Gunmen attack agriculture institute in Pakistan, killing 12

Officials said the attack began at around 8am as loud expositions were heard and firing broke out at the institute's hostel opposite the Agricultural Directorate when at least three burqa-clad suspects entered the building.

There were about 20 people including the students in the University as it had remained closed today due to Eid Miladun Nabi. Two soldiers also sustained injuries who were moved to Combined Military Hospital for treatment.

A heavy contingent of police, Frontier Constabulary (FC) and army surrounded the campus before launching the operation.

Police said at least three militants opened fire at security guards near the gates of the Agriculture Training Institute, injuring one of them before making their way inside and targeting the student accommodation. The university hostel usually houses almost 400 students, but most had gone home for a long holiday weekend and only about 120 students remained.

The ISPR said the terrorists were in contact with their handlers in Afghanistan during the attack.

Volunteers carry an injured student after an attack by Taliban gunmen in the city of Peshawar.

During the onslaught on the training centre, a spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Muhammad Khurasani, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP.

"I was sleeping in my room with my other colleagues", said student Zulfiqar Ahmad.

Another three people died at Khyber Teaching Hospital and 17 wounded were there, director Nekdad Afridi said.

The attack also bore striking similarities to a 2014 Taliban massacre at the army-run school in Peshawar that killed 151 people, mostly schoolchildren.

The Pakistani Taliban are fighting to topple the government and install a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Peshawar has been the scene of some of the worst violence during the years of an insurgency by the Pakistani Taliban.

  • Rogelio Becker