News / Asia

    Pakistan Arrests Suspect in Deadly University Raid

    A Pakistani security official poses as a militant during a security drill Feb. 2 at the Islamia College in Peshawar.
    A Pakistani security official poses as a militant during a security drill Feb. 2 at the Islamia College in Peshawar.
    Ayaz Gul

    Authorities in Pakistan have arrested the suspected main facilitator of last month’s attack on a university that killed at least 21 people, mostly students.

    Intelligence sources confirmed to VOA on Wednesday that security operatives detained the suspect from an area not far from the northwestern town of Charsadda, where four heavily armed militants stormed the Bacha Khan University on January 20 and carried out the massacre. All of the assailants were killed in a four-hour gun battle with security forces inside the university.

    The English-language DAWN newspaper has identified the suspect as Waheed Ali, alias Arshad, saying his arrest took place last week in Nowshera, a city near Charsadda, while he was attempting to flee to Afghanistan.

    "He had shaved his beard and packed up. His [hired] taxi was intercepted and he was picked up after positive identification," the paper reported, adding that Arshad is in his 30s and has confessed to his crime.

    Tasbeeh Ullah, a Bacha Khan University student, receives help in a Pakistani hospital. He’d suffered broken bones after jumping from a campus rooftop to avoid a gunman firing at him in the Jan. 20 attack.
    Tasbeeh Ullah, a Bacha Khan University student, receives help in a Pakistani hospital. He’d suffered broken bones after jumping from a campus rooftop to avoid a gunman firing at him in the Jan. 20 attack.

    Fugitive commander implicated

    The detainee told interrogators that a fugitive Pakistani militant commander, Khalifa Umar Mansoor, planned and ordered the attack from his suspected base in the Afghan border district of Achin, sources said.

    The Pakistani military announced the arrest a week ago of five other people who allegedly facilitated the deadly university assault. Officials at the time claimed to have intercepted telephone conversations between the attackers and their alleged handler in Afghanistan, namely Mansoor.

    The militant commander, who heads a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility in a video message released to the media a few days after the attack. He identified the four men accompanying him in the video as the university attackers.

    In his video message, Mansoor also threatened to carry out more such attacks, prompting educational institutions across the country to close until early this week.

    Bitter memories

    The university attack revived memories of the December 2014 militant raid on an army-run school in the nearby city of Peshawar, in which 150 people, mostly children, were massacred.

    The main Taliban organization, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, had claimed responsibility for that violence but has denied any involvement in the university attack.

    Afghanistan’s Achin district, according to U.S. and Afghan officials, is serving as the main base for regional militants linked to the Islamic State militant group.

    The Afghan district and surrounding areas in eastern Nangarhar province have increasingly become a security challenge for authorities already struggling to tackle the resurgent Taliban insurgency.

    Earlier this week, a joint Afghan-U.S. air assault on Achin destroyed an Islamic State radio station and killed 29 of its fighters, according to provincial officials.

    U.S. military commanders acknowledge that fugitive Pakistan Taliban extremists fleeing military offensives on the other side of the border have joined forces with IS in restive Nangarhar.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Syed Ahmed from: Pakistan
    February 03, 2016 10:38 AM
    The US and Afghanistan are useless, they kept pressuring Pakistan, and today Pakistan is doing the serious fighting and has cleansed their areas mostly, but what are the Americans and Afghans doing? just talking and blabbing nonsense, accusing Pakistan for this or that, look at yourselves, shameless creatures, do something positive for a change and destroy the militants hiding inside Afghanistan. Or does Pakistan have to come and clean up inside Afghanistan as well?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora