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.


Africa’s youngest billionaire free 9 days after abduction

Updated 20 October 2018
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Africa’s youngest billionaire free 9 days after abduction

  • Dar es Salaam Regional Police Chief Lazaro Mambosasa confirmed the release and said authorities continue to investigate
  • Forbes magazine in 2016 put Dewji's wealth at $1.5 billion

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania: The man described as Africa's youngest billionaire said Saturday he is free more than a week after his abduction from a luxury hotel in Tanzania's commercial capital, while police suggested his captors came from South Africa.
"I thank Allah that I have returned home safely," said a statement released by the 43-year-old Mohammed Dewji's foundation. It did not give details about the Oct. 11 abduction or what led to his release but thanked police for working for his safe return.
Dar es Salaam Regional Police Chief Lazaro Mambosasa confirmed the release and said authorities continue to investigate. There was no mention of a ransom being paid.
"We got information that the abductors used the same car that was used to seize him at the Colosseum Hotel and dumped him at gymkhana (sports facility) grounds," Mambosasa said. "We found him there physically fit, and we suspect that the abductors are South Africans because he said they were communicating in one of the vernacular from that country."
Environment Minister January Makamba, in a statement posted on Twitter, said he had spoken with Dewji and "he's the usual Mo. So he is okay."
Dewji, while arriving at the hotel for a workout, had been seized by two masked gunmen who fired into the air before driving away. Regional authorities said two white men were seen on surveillance video and quickly tightened controls at border posts and airports.
Forbes magazine in 2016 put Dewji's wealth at $1.5 billion.