Splinter Taliban group threatens more school attacks in Pakistan

DERA ISAMAIL KHAN, Pakistan - The head of a breakaway Taliban faction behind this week's attack at a northwestern Pakistani university that killed 21 people, most of them students, threatened on Friday to carry out more such attacks on schools and universities across the country.

See Full Article

Wednesday's brazen assault at the Bacha Khan university in the town of Charsadda stunned Pakistanis. Islamic militants stormed the campus, gunning down students and teachers, and triggering a gunbattle that lasted for hours before the four gunmen were slain and the military declared an end to the siege.

It echoed the horrifying 2014 attack by the Taliban on an army-run school in the nearby city of Peshawar that left 150 dead, 144 of them children, and raised yet again questions about whether Pakistan's security forces are able to protect the country's educational institutions from extremists.

The leader of the splinter Taliban group that claimed responsibility for the attack, Khalifa Umar Mansoor, said in a video released Friday on social media that the Charsadda assault was just the start and promised his followers would hit the "evil democratic system" at its base.

Mansoor said Pakistan's educational institutions provide the future workforce for the military and the government - all of which work against the "will of God."

"Pakistan's evil democratic system, its military and political leadership have these educational institutions as their nurseries," Mansoor said. "It is from there they get their people, these institutions bear them fruit."

Along with Mansoor's threats, the video shows a presumably older segment of the four gunmen from the Charsadda assault practicing with assault rifles at an undisclosed location. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified but it was similar to previous messages released by the group.

Although Mansoor's group quickly took responsibility for the university attack, a spokesman for the larger Taliban organization, led by Mullah Fazlullah, denied having anything to do with it and called it "un-Islamic." Muhammad Khorasani, the Tehrik-e-Taliban spokesman, said they also disown Mansoor's group.

After the 2014 Peshawar school massacre, Taliban militants were united in taking responsibility for the violence and some analysts say that the divisions now in the Taliban over Wednesday's attack probably have more to do with a fear of retribution than a reflection of a deeply fractured and split militant movement.

-----

Associated Press Writer Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • France PM Manuel Valls expected to announce presidential bid

    World News CBC News
    Socialist French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is to announce later on Monday that he will run for president in next year's election, Agence France-Presse and French television reported. Valls' office issued a statement that he would make a declaration at 6:30 p.m. Source
  • Judge orders Michigan recount to begin today

    World News CBC News
    A federal judge has ordered a recount of Michigan's presidential ballots to begin at noon on Monday and directed that the state complete the process by a Dec. 13 federal deadline. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith issued the written order early on Monday after a Sunday night hearing in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan's Southern Division. Source
  • South Korea enters crucial week with impeachment vote on president

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korea is entering potentially one of the most momentous weeks in its recent political history, with impeachment looming for President Park Geun-hye as ruling party dissenters align with the opposition in a strengthening effort to force her out. Source
  • Beijing faces decision on how to respond to Trump's tweets

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- With Donald Trump's latest tweets touching on highly sensitive issues, China must decide how to handle an incoming American president who relishes confrontation and whose online statements appear to foreshadow shifts in foreign policy. Source
  • Hotel fire kills at least 11 in Karachi

    World News CTV News
    KARACHI, Pakistan - A massive fire swept through a four-star hotel in the southern port city of Karachi on Monday, killing at least 11 people, officials said. More than 50 people suffered injuries in the early morning blaze, which started in the hotel kitchen, police officer Tauqeer Naeem said. Source
  • Karachi hotel fire leaves at least 11 dead

    World News CBC News
    A massive fire swept through a four-star hotel in the southern port city of Karachi on Monday, killing at least 11 people, officials said. More than 50 people suffered injuries in the early morning blaze, which started in the hotel kitchen, police officer Tauqeer Naeem said. Source
  • Fake news story led man to shoot inside pizza shop: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — A man who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place fired an assault rifle inside the Washington, D.C., restaurant on Sunday injuring no one, police and news reports said. Source
  • Judge orders Michigan recount to begin at noon Monday

    World News Toronto Sun
    DETROIT — A federal judge in Detroit is expected to rule on whether a recount of Michigan votes in November’s presidential election can proceed immediately or if elections officials will have to wait two business days to get started hand-counting about 4.8 million ballots. Source
  • Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, Eagles receive Kennedy Center honous

    World News CBC News
    The longest, loudest standing ovation of the Kennedy Center Honors gala wasn't reserved for Al Pacino, Mavis Staples or the Eagles. Instead, it went to the man sitting to their left, attending his eighth and most likely his last honours presentation: President Barack Obama. Source
  • Fake news story led man to shoot inside Washington pizza shop, police say

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - A man who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place fired an assault rifle inside the Washington, D.C., restaurant on Sunday injuring no one, police and news reports said. Source