SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: June 15, 2013

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Sardar Bahadur Khan Women's University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Pakistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 15, 2013 fourteen female students and teachers of the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University in Quetta were killed by a suicide bomber. The incident took place on campus as students and teachers were boarding a university bus. The alleged bomber was dressed in a black burka veil under which there was a suicide belt. After the initial explosion the injured were taken to the Bolan Medical Complex.
As soon as the victims were brought to the hospital, another group of militants opened fire inside the emergency ward killing three female nurses who were attending to them. Lashkar e Jhangvi, an organization that opposes women’s education, claimed responsibility for the attack. Pakistani security forces eventually quelled the violence at the hospital and arrested several suspected perpetrators.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the killings of university students and staff. All students have the right to participate in higher education, free from violent attack. Targeted killings not only violate the human rights of the female students who are directly attacked; they also send a violent and discriminatory message to other young women and girls in the region and around the world. State and university authorities have a responsibility to protect students, particularly those who are most vulnerable, and to ensure the perpetrators of violent attacks are held accountable.