12 injured as terrorists open fire near Peshawar University

Pakistan: 3 terrorists open fire at Agricultural Directorate near Peshawar University; journalist, security guard among injured

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Islamist militants stormed a provincial government complex for agricultural research in northwest Pakistan on Friday, killing 12 people including students and wounding 35 others, police and rescue officials said.

Three burqa-clad gun men have also entered the Directorate as intermittent gunfire, and blast heard from inside the premises.

Local media reported that police and the army reached the site shortly afterwards and exchanged fire with the attackers.

Numerous students staying at the complex had returned home for a holiday weekend to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

One injured student, Ahteshan ul-Haq, said the university hostel normally houses almost 400 students, but at the time of the attack most students were gone for a holiday weekend and only 120 students remained.

The ISPR said the terrorists were in contact with their handlers in Afghanistan during the attack.

A spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Muhammad Khurasani, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to foreign wire service AFP.

"We were sleeping when we heard gunshots. I got up and within seconds everybody was running and shouting 'the Taliban have attacked, '" said a student.

Soldiers stand guard after an attack by Taliban militants in Peshawar.

The militants also issued photos of the attackers, who they said were from nearby Swat Valley, singing with the movement's fugitive leader, Mullah Fazlullah, before their mission.

The injured were taken to Khyber Teaching Hospital for treatment.

In December 2014, Taliban gunmen killed 134 children at Peshawar's Army Public School, one of the single deadliest attacks in the country's history.

Peshawar has been the scene of some of the worst violence during the years of an insurgency by the Pakistani Taliban.

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