Burqa-clad militants storm hostel, kill 9 in Pakistan

Peshwar: On a day Muslims in Pakistan were celebrating the Prophet’s birthday with fervour, a group of burqa-clad militants stormed a hostel of Peshawar’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and killed nine before they were shot dead by security forces.

Among the dead were eight students and an office employee. Over 30 others were injured in the raid.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack. The militants may have been planning a major strike but they failed as the hostel was officially closed for Eid Miladun Nabi (Prophet’s birthday) and most students staying there had gone home for the long weekend.

Police of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province said three suicide vests, 20 grenades, two bombs and one pistol were recovered from the building. All the terrorists were neutralised before they could detonate their vests.

The attack began around 8.10 am with three loud explosions followed by firing at the ATI hostel opposite the Agricultural Directorate. Witnesses said they saw at least three burqa-clad suspects getting off a rickshaw at the gate and sneaking into the building before the attack.

KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said the terror attack on Eid Miladun Nabi is highly condemnable.

Chief Minister Peshawar Pervaiz Khattak said KP police had been on high alert after the recent anti-blasphemy protests across Pakistan. But the hostel attack caught them off guard. However, they responded quickly and neutralised all terrorists.