Militant attack in Charsadda, Pakistan leaves 19 dead

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People carry a coffin of a victim killed in an attack, at a local hospital in Charsadda town, some 35 kilometers (21 miles) outside the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Gunmen stormed Bacha Khan University named after the founder of an anti-Taliban political party in the country’s northwest Wednesday, killing many people, officials said. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Alice Yu

People carry a coffin of a victim killed in an attack, at a local hospital in Charsadda town, some 35 kilometers (21 miles) outside the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Gunmen stormed Bacha Khan University named after the founder of an anti-Taliban political party in the country’s northwest Wednesday, killing many people, officials said. 
Students at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan gathered Wednesday morning to honor their university namesake, a 1920s Pashtun independence activist and pacifist named Bacha Khan 28 years after his death. Instead, they received a massacre.
Militants stormed the university during the ceremony, threw hand grenades, and then opened fire. At least 19 people are dead, along with four terrorists, and many more injured, according to authorities.
With conflicting reports from the Pakistani Taliban, it is still unclear who organized the attack. Umar Mansoor, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman, claimed the attack as a retaliation toward military operations against the Taliban, but another spokesperson, Mohammad Khurranssani, condemned and disowned the slaughter.
Read more on the attacks here.[vc_empty_space][vc_custom_heading text=”Bearing News asked, “What was your reaction upon hearing about the attack? How does this impact the Muslim and Pakistani community?“” google_fonts=”font_family:Cabin%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_empty_space][vc_empty_space][TS-VCSC-Image-Overlay image=”280769″ hover_type=”ts-imagehover-style5″ overlay_handle_color=”#2bb673″ title=”Laith Almashharawi, sophomore”][heading size=”24″ margin=”10″]Laith Almashharawi, sophomore[/heading] Like in all instances in which things like this happen, I was initially shocked and naturally sorry for any civilians or students affected by this event. It’s truly saddening and disappointing that things like this still happen in the world, especially in places like Bacha Khan University, where students go to engage in peaceful and educational environments. Regardless, such events only serve to remind us of how ugly and low some people might act if they lose perspective. I believe that if anything, this terrorist attack, caused by yet another terrorist organization, should only strengthen the global fight against terrorism, as such atrocities cannot continue to happen. As American citizens, the Muslim and Pakistani community in Columbia live their lives upholding the American values such as freedom and safety of the people, and in reaction to this instance, I’m certain that the community here will only continue to be strong in representing the good-hearted, well-meaning Muslims.[vc_empty_space][heading size=”24″ margin=”10″]Maryam Bledsoe, junior[/heading]
I found it to be a horrible tragedy like the many other terrorist attacks I have seen in the news. I feel bad for the victim’s families, as well as the survivors of the attacks. As these tragedies have become more commonplace, I fear more for everyone around me; it seems like anyone could become a victim. Muslims feel attacked twice.  First by the terrorists whose majority of victims are Muslims, and second by the global community who demonizes Muslims for the actions of a small group of crazy and hateful criminals. I think it’s safe to say that this will be an opportunity for bigots, who ironically dehumanize groups they hate similarly to the terrorists they decry, to take advantage of people’s fears instead of actually proposing viable solutions to global terror. Hopefully dialogue can be fostered between Muslims and their communities to talk about what Islam really says about terrorism.[vc_empty_space][TS-VCSC-Image-Overlay image=”280770″ hover_type=”ts-imagehover-style5″ overlay_handle_color=”#2bb673″ title=”Maryam Bledsoe, junior”][vc_empty_space][TS-VCSC-Image-Overlay image=”280776″ hover_type=”ts-imagehover-style5″ overlay_handle_color=”#2bb673″ title=”Moiz Muhammad, junior”][heading size=”24″ margin=”10″]Moiz Muhammad, junior [/heading]My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families. It’s sad because there hasn’t been a focused effort from the Pakistani government, instead corrupt officials continuously deny [the Taliban’s] existence and it’s clearly been costing us the lives of many innocent people. It hurts the community, but all we can do is look on from the outside. The issue is a very systematic and institutional government. Although the government may be taking intelligence operations, not enough is being done to remove the presence of Taliban in Pakistan.[vc_empty_space]What was your reaction upon hearing of the attack on Bacha Khan University? 
Because of inclement weather, photos were self-provided by Laith Almashharawi, Maryam Bledsoe and Moiz Muhammad[vc_empty_space][vc_custom_heading text=”Check out some more of Bearing News’ coverage on terrorist attacks:” google_fonts=”font_family:Cabin%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_basic_grid post_type=”post” max_items=”1″ orderby=”ID” grid_id=”vc_gid:1453349007452-697b0584-93bd-8″ taxonomies=”6328″]