Peshawar: Islamist militants stormed a provincial government complex for agriculture research in northwest Pakistan on Friday, killing 12 people including students and wounding 35 others, police and rescue officials said.
The militants attacked the student hostel of the Directorate of Agriculture Extension on the University Road in the city, the capital of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Security officials said that militants clad in burqa used an auto rickshaw to reach the building.
They stormed the building by firing automatic weapons, creating panic, officials said.
A spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Muhammad Khurasani, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP
"Our mujahids have attacked the building because it was used as the office for ISI, God willing our fighters will fight till the last drop of blood," he said, referring to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
Salahuddin Mehsud, Inspector General of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said timely action by police and the Army helped in reducing the number of deaths.
A senior police official said all the terrorists were killed by security forces.
The area where the incident occurred is a hub for educational institutions in the city including the University of Peshawar.
An interior ministry official told AFP that cellular networks have been suspended in various cities across the country for security reasons.
The incident comes amid tight security across Pakistan as it celebrates the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed.
Security was also tight after weeks-long anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad that saw seven killed and hundreds wounded in clashes with police.
Violence erupted over the weekend after police and paramilitary forces launched a bungled attempt to clear the sit-in, igniting fresh demonstrations in cities across the country, including in Lahore and Karachi.
The protests were finally ended just days ago under a military-brokered deal.
In December 2014, a Taliban attack on the army-run school in Peshawar killed 151 people, mostly schoolchildren.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Dec 01, 2017 14:12 PM | Updated Date: Dec 01, 2017 16:49 PM