Taliban kill 132 children in Pak school

Nine staffers, seven gunmen among 148 dead n Over 1,000 kids were on campus during raid

Taliban kill 132 children in Pak school

In one of the bloodiest attacks seen in Pakistan, heavily armed Taliban gunmen stormed an army-run school here and went from classroom to classroom shooting indiscriminately, killing 132 children and 9 staffers.

As night fell on Peshawar, security forces wrapped up an operation that lasted more than eight hours and involved intense gun battles.

Seven Arabic-speaking terrorists dressed in paramilitary Frontier Corps uniforms entered the school around 10 am local time through a graveyard adjacent to the premises.

Chief Military Spokesman Maj Gen Asim Bajwa told a news conference that 132 children and nine staff members were killed. A total of 130 people—118 students, three staffers, seven Special Services Group (SSG) soldiers and two officers — were injured, he added.

Bajwa also said that 960 students and staffers were rescued. About 1,000 students and staffers were in the school at the time of the attack, he added.

Bajwa said all seven militants were killed in the operation. Some of them reportedly blew themselves up. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We selected the army school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and women. We want them to feel our pain,” said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani. The Taliban said the gunmen were equipped with suicide vests.

Pakistan launched a massive military operation, Zarb-e-Azab, in June following a militant attack on Karachi international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and the Taliban.

The military has said that more than 1,300 militants have been killed during the operation and it will continue till militancy is completely wiped out of Pakistan.
“One of my teachers was crying, she was shot in the hand and she was crying in pain,” said Shahrukh Khan (15), who was shot in both legs but survived by hiding under a bench.

“One terrorist then walked up to her and started shooting at her until she stopped making any sound. All around me my friends were lying injured and some were dead,” Khan added.

A student who identified himself as Shuja told Samaa TV that they were taking examination when the firing started. They were told by the teacher to lie down on the floor. He said they remained on floor for about one hour when army soldiers came and told them to go out.

Several students escaped through the back gate. One of the students who escaped said that the fourth period was in progress when they heard the firing.

“First we didn’t know what has happened. But later an army officer told us to escape through the back gate,” he said.

Outside, as helicopters rumbled overhead, police struggled to hold back distraught parents who were trying to break past a security cordon and get into the school.

A local hospital said the dead and injured were aged from 10 to 20 years old. A Reuters correspondent visiting the Combined Military Hospital said its corridors were lined with dead students.

Pakistanis, used to almost daily militant attacks, were shocked by the scale of the massacre. It recalled the 2004 siege of a school in Russia’s Beslan by Chechen militants which ended in the death of more than 330 people, half of them children.

Condemning the incident, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif used some strong words. “We will take revenge for each and every drop of our children’s blood that was spilt today,” he said. Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, whose party rules Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, termed the attack as an act of “barbarism”.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019

Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0