12 dead, 35 injured in terrorist attack on Peshawar institute

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Pakistani troops secure the premises of the Agriculture Training Institute in Peshawar city following a deadly attack by Taliban terrorists on Friday morning, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 30 others. (AN photo)
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Pakistani troops secure the premises of the Agriculture Training Institute in Peshawar city following a deadly attack by Taliban terrorists on Friday morning, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 30 others. (AN photo)
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A crowd gathers at the gate of the Agriculture Training Institute in Peshawar city following a deadly attack by Taliban terrorists on Friday morning. (AN photo)
Updated 01 December 2017
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12 dead, 35 injured in terrorist attack on Peshawar institute

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Taliban militants armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades stormed the campus of the Agriculture Training Institute in Peshawar city on Friday morning, killing at least 12 people and injuring more than 35 others. Most of the victims were students.

Provincial police chief Salahuddin Mehsud told reporters that gunmen entered the campus clad in “burqas” and wearing suicide vests.

The army and police conducted a joint operation that lasted for about two hours and killed three attackers.

Mehsud said police are trying to identify a fourth suspect whose body was found at the site.

The attackers apparently targeted a dormitory for students and teachers at the campus.

Another senior police official, Sajjad Khan, later told NBC News: “Three suicide bombers armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades entered the hostel and opened fire on the students before triggering their explosives-filled jackets.”

Although the police and army reached the site within five-to-six minutes, several people had been killed in the attack’s early moments.

One student, who managed to flee from the hostel, told media that there were about 40 students in the hostel at the time of the attack.

“Along with some 15 others, I fled the place and we escaped unhurt,” he said.

Another student, Sajjadullah, from Buner district, told Arab News that soon after the first shots were fired, students ran from their rooms and jumped over the boundary wall, fleeing for their lives.

Hayatabad Medical Complex Director Shahzad Akbar told media that six bodies and 18 wounded had been brought to the health facility, while sources at Khyber Teaching Hospital said they received three bodies and 17 injured.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place around 20 miles from the Afghanistan border.

Peshawar has been the scene of several such attacks, including the deadliest atrocity in Pakistan’s history, when the Pakistani Taliban killed more than 130 children at the Army Public School in December 2014, since when Pakistan’s military have conducted several major operations against extremists and their auxiliary groups.

But Peshawar has witnessed a surge in terror attacks in recent weeks. On Nov. 24, Additional Inspector General of Police Ashraf Noor was killed when a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into the police official's vehicle en route to his office.

A Pakistan military spokesman told the media that the attackers were in contact with their handlers in Afghanistan throughout the assault.

Meanwhile, Afghan Ambassador Omer Zakhilwal took to Twitter to condemn the “cowardly terrorist attack” in the “strongest terms.”

“Our hearts and prayers on this exalted day of Milad-ul-Nabi are with the bereaved families,” he added.

The attack came as an Afghan military delegation is visiting Pakistan to discuss border security.

TTP spokesman Mohammed Khorasani claimed in a message available with Arab News that the assailants targeted a safe house of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's spy agency.


"We are happy to have our son back"

Updated 18 December 2018
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"We are happy to have our son back"

  • Parents of Indian national released from Peshawar jail rejoice
  • Detained for alleged espionage, Ansari had reportedly entered Pakistan from Kabul to meet a girl he had befriended online

NEW DELHI: After spending six years in a Pakistani jail on charges of alleged espionage, Indian national Hamid Ansari finally saw the light of day after being released by Islamabad on Tuesday.

In search of a better livelihood, Ansari had reportedly left his hometown of Mumbai in India to look for a job in Afghanistan.

In 2012, however, he allegedly entered Kohat, in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to meet a girl he had befriended on social media.

Pakistan, however, said that Ansari, an engineer, was an Indian spy who had illegally entered the country while accusing him of being involved in anti-state crimes and forgery, prior to sentencing him to six years in jail.

Since 2015, Ansari had been lodged in a jail in Peshawar where he ended his prison term last week.

“We are happy that we'd be able to see our son again,” an emotional Nehal Ahmad Ansari, his father, told Arab News.

His mother, Fauzia Ansari, added that Ansari's release was "an end of a painful period in our life".

Speaking to reporters, she said: "It’s a new birth for Hamid. He will begin his new life. We will support him for his rehabilitation, good health and better future.”

Nehal, on his part, thanked the government of India and Pakistan "for every effort" made in helping repatriate his son.

Ansari's entire family, along with a large number of peace activists, were present at the Wagah border to receive him. 

Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs expressed “great relief, especially for the family members, that six years of incarceration of the Indian civilian in Pakistan jail is coming to an end.”

In a press statement released on Monday, Kumar asked “Pakistan to take action to also end the misery of other Indian nationals and fishermen whose nationality has been confirmed and who have completed their sentences, but continue to languish in Pakistan jails.”