At least 19 people were killed by gunmen who stormed a Pakistani university on Wednesday, hospital officials said.

The attack took place on the campus of Bacha Khan University in Charsadda town in the north-western province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, an area that has long been a stronghold of militants.

Security forces killed two gunmen and had cornered three others, a police official said.

Earlier reports said there were six gunmen involved in the attack.

At least 1,000 students were on campus when the shooting started, a police official told dpa, asking not to be named.

Soldiers and police were both called in to help, a military statement said.

“Male and female students, security guards and teachers are among the dead,” said hospital medic Zubair Ali.

 The Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for a university attack in the country's north-west.

Taliban spokesman Umer Mansour tells journalists the attack was revenge for the death of militants at the hands of Pakistani security forces.

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