A senior Pakistani Taliban commander on Friday said the militant group will target more academic institutions in the future, after claiming responsibility for the Wednesday attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, which killed 20 people.
The leader released a video with his message that also showed four men who he claimed perpetrated the attack on the university.
"Now we will not kill the soldier in his cantonment, the lawyer in the court or the politician in parliament, but in the places where they are prepared, the schools, the universities, the colleges that lay their foundation," Reuters quoted Umar Mansoor, a leader in the Islamist group, as saying in the video. "With the mercy of god, our attacks on all universities and schools will continue," he added.
In the video, four men are also seen practising shooting.
The release of the video gave rise to speculation of a possible crack in the organisation, since its official spokesperson has denied that the Taliban have any links to the attack.
Mohammad Khorasani, spokesperson of Tehreek-e-Taliban — led by Mullah Fazlulah — had condemned the attack as "un-Islamic". However, Taliban commander Umar Mansoor told Reuters it launched the attack on the university as it prepared students for positions in the government and army.
"Pakistan's evil democratic system, its military and political leadership have these educational institutions as their nurseries," Associated Press quoted Mansoor as saying. "It is from there they get their people, these institutions bear them fruit."
Pakistan had taken a strict stance against the group after it attacked an army school in Peshawar in 2014, killing 134 children.