Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mass Shooting at University in Pakistan Kills More Than Thirty

According to the news wires this morning, a team of "Taliban" gunmen stormed a college campus at at Bacha Khan University in the town of Charsada in northwest Pakistan, at around 9.30am local time and began firing randomly at students and teachers in a terror attack that is wholly out of character with how The Taliban operate.

Bacha Khan University (source India Online)

UK newspaper The Guardian reported that the terrorists, four young men from the Pakistani militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) entered the campus at about 9.30am local time (4.30am GMT), apparently using the cover of thick morning fog, and opened fire on students and teachers in classrooms and accommodation blocks. A gun battle between the attackers and Pakistan security forces ensued.

Eye witness reports said there four gunmen wearing suicide bomb vests and weilding AK47 automatic rifles invaded the campus. The attack was claimed by Tehreek-e-Taliban, a Pakistani militant group.

"They came from behind and there was a big commotion," an unnamed male student told a local news channel from a hospital bed in Charsadda’s District Hospital. "We were told by teachers to leave immediately. Some people hid in bathrooms."

Television images showed military vehicles taking armed soldiers into the campus as helicopters hovered overhead and ambulances lined up outside the main gate.

Shabir Khan, a lecturer in English said he was about to leave his university housing for the department when firing began. "Most of the students and staff were in classes when the firing began,” Khan said. “I have no idea about what’s going on but I heard one security official talking on the phone to someone and said many people had been killed and injured."

About three hours after the attack began, the Pakistani army said the attackers were contained in two university blocks and that four of them had been killed. Witnesses report a much higher death toll than that given officially. A 23-year-old student said he counted 56 bodies and saw gunmen shooting male and female students "without discrimination". Students at the university are overwhelmingly Muslim and it is bizarre to think Islamic extremists would attack followers of Islam in this way.

About three hours after the attack started, the army said the campus was quiet as soldiers conducted a block-by-block search. Four attackers were killed, including two who were shot dead by snipers, it said.

Although a similar narrative was presented by US news network CNN, their report stated a TTP spokesman later denied responsibility for the attack:

"The TTP “strongly condemn the attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda and disown the attack, saying this is not according to Shariah," according to a statement emailed by TTP Central Spokesman, Mohammad Khurrassani.

CNN then reported a senior Taliban commander, Umar Mansoor, earlier claimed responsibility for today’s attack on the university.

NOTE: This apparent switch looks very similar to the Cointel Pro method of grey propaganda designed to reinforce to the public that the TTP carried out this attack – a major application of grey propaganda is making enemies believe falsehoods using straw arguments: As phase one, to make someone believe “A”, one releases as grey propaganda “B”, the opposite of “A”. In phase two, “B” is discredited using some strawman. The enemy will then assume “A” to be true.
Grey Propaganda - Wikipedia

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