At least 30 people are dead and 50 injured after a group of militants stormed a university in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, in an attack that lasted hours.The gunmen used the cover of thick, wintry fog to scale the walls of the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, before entering buildings and opening fire on students and teachers.A senior security officer at the scene told Reuters on Wednesday that 90 percent of the campus had been secured after a three-hour gunfight with the militants ended. A Charsadda District local government official told VICE News that the operation had come to an end. “The army is busy clearing the university block to block, it may take some time,” he said. Four militants had been killed, the army said. Security sources told VICE News that the four attackers were wearing suicide vests, but were killed by security forces before they could detonate their explosives.
Local newspaper Dawn reported that students inside the university’s grounds had been gathering for a poetry recital to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a popular ethnic Pashtun independence activist and leader after whom the university is named.Regional politician Shaukat Yousufzai told VICE News that number of dead was between 25 and 30. Fakhr-i-Alam, a senior government official, said at least 19 had been killed, while an official Twitter handle for the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said there had been “around” 25 deaths and 30 injuries, before declaring three days of mourning.