Survivors at Bacha Khan University have called Professor Syed Hamid Hussain a “martyr” after he fired back at Taliban jihadists storming the school, allowing his students to flee to safety.
Four Taliban terrorists attacked the university at 9:30 a.m. local time (10:30 p.m. ET), shouting, “Allahu Akbar” as they fired upon anyone in their path. Hussain immediately grabbed his pistol and ran towards the terrorists.
“One student jumped out of the classroom through the window. We never saw him get up,” explained one man, who then witnessed Hussain shooting at the Taliban militants.
“Then we saw him fall down and as the terrorists entered the (registrar) office we ran away.”
Hussain urged geology student Zahoor Ahmed not to leave the building.
“He was holding a pistol in his hand,” he described. “Then I saw a bullet hit him. I saw two militants were firing. I ran inside and then managed to flee by jumping over the back wall.”
People praised the fallen teacher on social media.
— SkinnyCanWrite (@TwoTwoAlys) January 20, 2016
— Riaz Ali Turi (@RiazToori) January 20, 2016
— Michelle_frost (@michelle_sajjad) January 20, 2016
— Fahd Humayun (@fahdhumayun) January 20, 2016
— Aasia Ishaque (@aasia_ishaque) January 20, 2016
The university allowed teachers to carry weapons after the Taliban slaughtered over 150 people, mainly children, in Peshawar in 2014, located only 25 miles away. Teacher’s associations balked at the idea, claiming that “it was not their job to fight off militants.”
Taliban spokesman Umar Mansoor confirmed the terrorist group carried out the massacre “in retaliation for military operations against the group.” However, another spokesman, Mohammad Khurrassani, said the group “strongly condemn[ed] the attack” since it “is not according to Shariah.”
“We’ve seen consistent operations by the Taliban up in this area,” explained CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd, who believes the Taliban executed the invasion. “I see this as simply as retaliatory, that is the Taliban saying, ‘If you’re going to bring Pakistani special forces and the army up into our turf, you’re going to pay a heavy price.'”
Security forces killed the four gunmen.
“We are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland,” declared Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “The countless sacrifices made by our countrymen will not go in vain, inshallah.”
School official Salma Khan claims the “resolve of educating our children cannot be shaken.”
“They were firing all around,” said student Kasib Jan. “University security guards first engaged them, but it was beyond their capacities. We hid behind the benches in the classrooms. We heard them walking around, but they moved away. We came out and ran away to safety.”
“The attackers were like us–they were very young. They carried AK-47 guns. They wore jackets like the forces do,” stated another student.