Taliban Terrorists Massacre Children in Peshawar School

The Pakistani Taliban perpetrated a senseless act of unspeakable brutality in an army public school in Peshawar.

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A Khyber Pakhtunkhwa spokesperson placed the death toll at 126.

Talking to the media Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister said that more than 100 children have been killed. Twenty four bodies and 43 injured have been shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital while 60 bodies and 40 injured have been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH).

The Chief Minister added that 8-10 militants entered the army public school on Warsak Road around 10:30 am. Three of the attackers were killed while four to five militants remain at large. He said the attackers were dressed in Frontier Corps (FC) uniforms.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announced a three-day mourning across the province.

According to early reports, at least 23 students, a female teacher, a male teacher and a security official died and 46 were injured as armed militants attacked an army public school at Warsak Road in Peshawar on Tuesday keeping students hostage.

An operation is underway while the firing has ceased. Militants attacked when a ceremony was happening at school. Most of the injured were being shifted to Lady Reading Hospital for medical help. Police contingents and security forces reached the site immediately, besieged and cordoned off the area. Security forces have been able to rescue four students while the terrorist were still in the school. The area under attack is aerially inspected.

Warsak Road has been blocked for traffic and concerned parents have gathered outside the school. The media has also been barred while the forces are chalking out a counter strategy.

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The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for the army’s continuing operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal area close to Peshawar. A senior military official told AFP that troops had cordoned off the area around the school and were hunting down the militants. The school on Peshawar’s Warsak Road is part of the army public schools and college system, which runs 146 schools nationwide for the children of military personnel and civilians. Its students range in age from 10 to 18.

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TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani told AFP there were six attackers. “They include target killers and suicide attackers. They have been ordered to shoot the older students but not the children,” he said. “This attack is a response to Zarb-e-Azab and the killing of Taliban fighters and harassing their families.”

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A rescued student said the militants bore modern weaponry wearing adorning black uniforms. Another eye-witness informed that the terrorists were Arabic-speaking foreigners.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), militants entered the auditorium and opened fire while exchange of gunshots took place between the forces and terrorists. Several students and teachers were rescued by the security forces.

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Meanwhile, addressing a press conference Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that war against terrorists would continue until the last militant in hunted down.

“I feel that until and unless this country is cleansed from terrorism, this war and effort will not stop, no one should be doubtful of this. Such attacks are expected in the wake of a war and the country should not lose its strength. Operation Zarb-e-Azb will continue,” he said while adding that the attack is an act of cowardice and brutality.

Calling the victims his children, the premier urged the nation to stand up against terrorism.

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Tayyab Baloch is an Islamabad-based multimedia journalist. He tweets at @blochjournalist. Read other articles by Tayyab.

  • Ali1727

    Ali Alyami

    This tragedy could have been avoided if its bloody executioners were not religiously brainwashed in schools that teach nothing, but hate. Pakistan was not like this before Zia Ul-Haq and his generals imported and nurtured Wahhabism in the 1970s.

    Pakistan will continue to slide toward anarchy and brutal activities by extremists who receive instructions and financial support from the oil rich Gulf Arab rulers and their zealous religious establishments.