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Brown: Pakistan attack is heinous, despicable and cowardly

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has strongly condemned an attack on a university in Pakistan as "heinous, despicable and cowardly".

Speaking to ITV News in Davos, Mr Brown accused the Taliban and other Islamist militant groups of trying to turn schools into "theatres of war".

He called on the international community to condemn the attack and pledge to treat such incidents as a "crime against humanity" which is punishable under international criminal law.

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Malala 'heartbroken' by attack on Pakistan university

Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban in 2012 while campaigning for female education in Pakistan. Credit: Ian West / PA Wire/PA Images

Nobel-prize winner Malala Yousafzai has said she is "heartbroken by the attack on students and staff at the Bacha Khan University" which may have killed up to 40 people.

In a statement, Malala, who was shot by the Taliban for her views on female education, "strongly condemned" the attack.

I am heartbroken by the attack on students and staff at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda and strongly condemn this brutal assault. My prayers are with the families of all the victims and all those who suffer as a result of extremist violence.

This brutality must be stopped. The authorities must act to ensure that all schools and universities are safe. I urge all people with peace in their hearts to renew their resolve to stand up to terrorism and ignorance and work together to protect life and learning.

This attack happened on the 28th anniversary of the death of Abdul Ghaffar Khan who was a great freedom fighter, a man of peace. I hope his message of non-violence and harmony will prevail and end intolerance in our society.

– Malala Yousafzai

Taliban spokesman denies group behind Charsadda attack

The official spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said on Wednesday that the Islamist movement was not behind the deadly attack on a university that killed at least 19 people.

The written statement by spokesman Muhammad Khorasani came hours after a senior Taliban commander said four of his fighters launched the assault on Wednesday at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The reason for the conflicting statements was not immediately clear.

Taliban behind Pakistan university attack

A spokesman for the Pakistani Army says the Taliban was behind an attack this morning at a university which reportedly left at least 21 people dead.

The spokesman said the clearance operation has ended, with four gunmen dead.

Soldiers and rescue workers move a man, injured in a militant attack at Bacha Khan University Credit: Khuram Parvez/Reuters

The militants, using the cover of thick fog, scaled the walls of the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, before entering buildings and opening fire on students and teachers in classrooms and hostels.

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Death toll hits 21 as Pakistan siege ends: report

A siege at a university in northern Pakistan has ended, with the death toll now reaching 21 people, according to the Agence France Presse news agency.

Soldiers gathered outside Bacha Khan University Credit: Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

A security official told Reuters the death toll could however rise to as high as 40 as the army cleared out student hostels and classrooms.

Bodies of students, guards, policemen and at least one professor have been recovered.

A teacher walks with a pair of crutches following her rescue Credit: Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

The army said firing had ended after several hours and four militants had been killed.

Police: Two gunmen killed after university attack

Police say they have killed two of the militants who stormed a university in northwestern Pakistan, Reuters has reported.

Officers say that most of the students at the Bacha Khan University have been rescued, but some gunmen are still in a campus building.

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