The Taliban faction that has claimed responsibility for the massacre at a Pakistani university that killed 21 people earlier this week says that assault was just the beginning of more attacks to come.
In a video message released on social media Friday, Khalifa Umar Mansoor, the leader of the breakaway Taliban group, promised more attacks on schools and universities across the country, like the deadly one Wednesday at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.
Mansoor described Pakistan's educational institutions as "nurseries" for those who challenge Allah's law.
'Will of God'
He said Pakistan's educational institutions provide the future workforce for the military and the government who work against the "will of God."
The spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Mohammad Khorasani, said earlier this week that his group had nothing to do with the university attack, adding that non-military institutions are not on its list of targets.
Army spokesman Asim Bajwa released details of Pakistan's investigation into the attack Thursday.
Bajwa said Pakistan’s military chief, General Raheel Sharif, telephoned the Afghan leadership and the commander of NATO’s Afghan mission and “asked for their cooperation in locating and targeting those responsible for this heinous act and bring them to justice.”
Four militants used morning fog as cover to climb over and cut through barbed wire barrier at the back of Bacha Khan University in Charsadda and begin an attack that last several hours and killed at least 20. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Student, Tasbeeh Ullah, saw a gunman coming up the stairs. As he watched, the gunman took aim at him and started shooting. Tasbeeh Ullah ran up to the rooftop and jumped. He became unconscious and woke up in a hospital, with broken bones. Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Some of the students were in this room as militants stormed their hostel in a gun and grenade attack Wednesday morning. Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Explosive sniffing dogs were on hand to help the security forces Wednesday as they searched through the premises of Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
National and international media scrambled to get as much information as possible on the campus of Bacha Khan University Wednesday hours after security forces finished their operation and declared the campus clear, Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Police arrived at the scene 45 minutes after the attackers entered the university campus. Charsadda is a relatively smaller town about 50 kilometers from Northwestern Pakistani city Peshawar. Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Entrance to Bacha Khan University where militants killed at least 20 in a gun and grenade attack, in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Entrance to the boys hostel in Bacha Khan University that was the scene of the bloodiest carnage. Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Pakistan’s military surrounded the university campus and carried out a clearing operation. Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Close up of some of the firing that took out the last two militants. Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Snipers took out the last remaining militants as they tried to flee from this rooftop through stairs behind the wall. Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan. (A. Tanzeem/VOA)
Pakistan alleges that leaders and commanders of the anti-state Taliban militants have taken refuge on the Afghan side of the border after fleeing army-led counterinsurgency operations.
Officials have previously also blamed these fugitives for planning cross-border attacks in Pakistan.
But Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi on Thursday dismissed allegations that there are terrorist bases in Afghanistan being used against Pakistan.
Seddiqi strongly condemned the Bacha Khan University attack and reiterated Kabul’s allegations that terrorist sanctuaries are located in Pakistan and are causing instability in the region.
Pakistan observed a day of mourning Thursday following the gun and bomb attack on Bacha Khan.