A shift from hard to soft targets

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On January 20, four attackers sneaked into the Palosa Campus of Bacha Khan University, Charsadda, from its rear wall. After neutralising the little resistance from the local guards, the attackers started their carnage at the boys’ hostel by killing the resident students and faculty. Two of the attackers then advanced to the girls’ hostel to carry on the same brutal killings there, but were stopped by the prompt interception of local police. Ultimately, all the attackers were eliminated, but before that they had killed 21 students, faculty members and staff of Bacha Khan University. While terrorist attacks are not new in Pakistan, some important lessons can be deducted from this incident.