The Pakistani Taliban first took and then denied responsibility for this morning’s deadly assault on a university in volatile northwestern Pakistan, in which 25 people died, according to a minister who briefed parliament.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
A group of four terrorists, using the cover of thick, wintry fog, scaled the walls of the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
They then opened fire on students and teachers in classrooms and hostels in Charsadda, about 30 miles from the city of Peshawar.
A spokesman for the rescue workers said the dead included students, guards, policemen and at least one professor.
The attack came a little over a year after Taliban gunmen killed 134 students at a military-run school in nearby Peshawar.
Hundreds of students were present this morning on campus along with 600 visitors attending a poetry recital to commemorate the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a popular ethnic Pashtun independence activist after whom the university is named.
Police, soldiers and Special Forces swarmed the university from the ground and the air in a bid to shut down the assault.
“Our four suicide attackers carried out the attack on Bacha Khan University today,” Umar Mansoor, a senior commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistani (TTP) said this afternoon. But hours later, a written statement by spokesman Muhammad Khorasani denied that.
“Those who kill innocent students and civilians have no religion,” said Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“We saw three terrorists shouting, ‘Allah is great!’ and rushing towards the stairs of our department,” said a male student to reporters. “One student jumped out of the classroom through the window. We never saw him get up.”
Students spoke of a hero teacher — named by media as Syed Hamid Hussain — fighting back against the intruders, shooting his weapon in a bid to protect his charges.