Security forces have ended a deadly siege at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, in north western Pakistan, after a group of militants stormed the school as morning classes were getting underway.
Although it is not yet clear who was behind the attack that killed at least 30 and injured dozens more, the incident closely resembles the Taliban attack on a public school in nearby Peshawar in late 2014 that left 148 dead.
Among the students and teachers who lost their lives, Dr. Hamid Hussain, a 34-year-old professor of organic chemistry, has been confirmed killed by the All Pakistan Government School Teachers Associations (APGSTA), an Education International (EI) affiliate.
“Education International expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who died as a result of this senseless violence,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “It is imperative that schools remain safe sanctuaries of learning, free from such murderous acts.”
He added that governments and other public authorities must ensure that schools receive the highest priority for protection from the violence that was inflicted upon the students, lecturers and other workers at the Bacha Khan University.
Education International calls upon the government of Pakistan to take immediate steps to protect all education facilities and to encourage all young people to participate in them by rendering them safe and secure.
Education International is in contact with Pakistan affiliates the Pakistan Teachers Organization's Council (PTOC), the Central Organization of Teachers (COT), and the APGSTA for further updates as they become available.