12 killed in Pakistan varsity attack

The militants attacked the student hostel of the Directorate of Agriculture Extension on the University Road

Police said at least three militants opened fire at security guards near the gates of the Agriculture Training Institute, injuring one of them before making their way inside and targeting the student accommodation.

The army and local police who were summoned to the scene killed all the attackers, who arrived at the Agricultural Training Institute on Friday by rickshaw, the military's press wing said.

Seven students, four security officials, two watchmen and a journalist were among those injured.

Senior police official Sajjad Khan said that five attackers were spotted wearing suicide jackets.

Reportedly, an explosion was also heard amid intense firing. "I got up and within seconds everybody was running and shouting 'the Taliban have attacked, '" said a student.

The area where the incident occurred is a hub for educational institutions including the University of Peshawar.

The university was closed due to Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) holiday.

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"We have received six dead bodies and 18 injured, two of them are in critical condition", a spokeswoman for the Hayatabad Medical Complex, Ishrat Bibi, told AFP.

Police officers said that five people were rushed to hospital with injuries.

The compound includes a hostel facility for diploma students and there were around 50 students there at the time of attack, police said.

An eyewitness said, "We were sleeping when we heard gunshots".

Mahsud said before the attackers could reach other hostels, security forces were able to evacuate residents in armored vehicles.

Security has improved in Pakistan over the past few years but a spate of attacks in recent days, and a threat by hardline militants to unleash a new campaign against the government, has raised fears of bloodshed.

In December 2014, a Taliban attack on the army-run school in Peshawar killed 151 people, mostly schoolchildren.

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