Targeted Terrorism

The recent attack at Bacha Khan University has been claimed by the Taliban. According to BBC, the attack was planned by the Dara Adma Khel branch of the Taliban.

It began before 9 a.m., as militants used the morning fog as cover to slip through nearby fields and scale the low wall towards the rear of the campus. The militants made their way across campus grounds, chucking grenades and shooting anything in their path.

The assault ended after hours of pitched combat with campus security. Forces cornered the attackers into two university buildings and the attackers were killed before they could enable their suicide vests.

The death toll had risen to 21 innocent people, as well as four terrorists, coming to a total of 25 killed as result of the attacks. Over 20 others were wounded, and over 200 students were rescued from the premise.

It has become somewhat of a signature move by the Taliban to attack scholarly buildings or places of education. The Bacha Khan attack had taken place a little over a year after Taliban militants massacred over 150 people in an assault on an army-run school in Peshawar in December of 2014.

The attack massacred dozens of school children in an attempt to impose an extremist ideology on the society of Pakistan.

According to BBC News, Education and Educational buildings have been frequently under attack since the Taliban took hold of valleys of Swat in the early 2000s. They frequently attacked and burned schools in Swat Valley during their years of hold.

One of their most infamous attacks was of a young schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who publicly opposed the Taliban. She was attacked and seriously injured during an ambush by Taliban members.

Her attack transformed her into a global icon as she used her story as a way to energize education campaigns throughout Pakistan.

Sadly, the Bacha Khan University is neither the first nor the last attack on education by the Taliban. Labeled a religious extremist group, they have rooted themselves in an ideology that goes completely against their religion’s rules.

The Bacha Khan University was another example of the Taliban still retaining its capacity for inhumane brutality while heightening the fear of civilians in the area.

Of course the people of these war-stricken areas want to feel safe and protected, but how do you fight a war that seems to have no rules, no face, and no sympathy? A war that is completely rogue from what we have experienced in the past? It is an adaption of acts of pure destruction with only terror as the purpose.

It seems that these attacks are so frequent that it doesn’t even feel like news but more like daily life for those living in war zones. As citizens in the United States, we have become more emotionally immune to these acts of terror that haven’t quite reached our soil.

And now we are stuck in situation that seems all too familiar. We send our hearts and prayers out to the families of victims, but there still isn’t anything we can do to stop what has already happened, to bring back the lives lost, and heal the emotional and mental impact it has had on the students and families there.