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‘I Saw Death’

by AFP
A. Majeed—AFP

A. Majeed—AFP

A survivor of the Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar recalls the terrifying ordeal.

A teenage survivor of Tuesday’s Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar has described how he played dead after being shot in both legs by insurgents hunting down students to kill.

Militants rampaged through the Army-run school and killed at least 130 people, most of them children, in one of the bloodiest ever attacks in Pakistan.

Speaking from his bed in the trauma ward of the Lady Reading Hospital, Shahrukh Khan, 16, said he and his classmates were in a careers guidance session in the school auditorium when four gunmen wearing paramilitary uniforms burst in. “Someone screamed at us to get down and hide below the desks,” he said, adding that the gunmen shouted “Allah-o-Akbar” before opening fire.

“Then one of them shouted: ‘There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them,’” Khan told AFP. “I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches.”

Khan said he felt searing pain as he was shot in both his legs just below the knee. He decided to play dead, adding: “I folded my tie and pushed it into my mouth so that I wouldn’t scream. The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again. My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me—I felt as though it was death that was approaching me.”

The Army Public School is attended by boys and girls from both military and civilian backgrounds.

As his father, a shopkeeper, comforted him in his blood-soaked bed, Khan recalled: “The men left after some time and I stayed there for a few minutes. Then I tried to get up but fell to the ground because of my wounds. When I crawled to the next room, it was horrible. I saw the dead body of our office assistant on fire,” he said. “She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned.”

It was not immediately clear how the female employee’s body caught fire, though local media has reported that some of the Taliban militants set her alight because she was trying to protect her students.

Khan, who said he also saw the body of a soldier who worked at the school, crawled behind a door to hide and then lost consciousness. “When I woke up I was lying on the hospital bed,” he added.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for a major military offensive in the region, saying its militants had been ordered to shoot older students.

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Ashar December 16, 2014 - 8:19 pm

Allah reham karay iss qoum pe,iss bchay ki himmat ko salam hai,ye taliban nest o nabood hojaen

DUA khan December 16, 2014 - 9:10 pm

Attack in Peshawar

salaar December 16, 2014 - 11:07 pm

They are playing havoc with us and we r thinking to execute the death sentences given by courts to TTP in diff jails of Pakistan. Now is the time to give execution orders to give clear and simple answer if u will hit our heart we shall take it out of ur chest. Long live Pakistan.

no December 17, 2014 - 8:24 am

So here’s a crazy thought. Get rid of the ones who wants to get rid of those they oppose.

Rabia Sarwar December 17, 2014 - 11:48 am

Allah in talibaan ko inshallah zaroor dekhy ga inshallah yeh masoom bachy yeh Allah in ko jannat mai khush rakhiii …..Ameen

Asif December 17, 2014 - 3:42 pm

Our weak law and dirty judges are equally responsible. If any militant is released by courts, and caught again, then judges must be Hanged with them.

Divyansh Mehta December 18, 2014 - 12:24 am

Hi guys.I am from India.Feeling very sorry for the losses. And I assure you that I am feeling devastated for what happened. May all the innocent souls R.I.P. Stay strong. We are with you, no matter what differences we have between us. We feel the pain. And we are with you and I hope the whole world is with you. If there’s a god. If there’s one. These bastards will get punished. And I’ll pray for that.

Sourendra K Basu December 18, 2014 - 11:22 am

I salute to the guy and I feel by God’s grace he was saved by his intelligent step even in that violent and horrifying situation. We need Jesus, Guru Nanak, Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Satta Sai and all Messenger of Gods to reappear and recreate our world again bringing peace for everyone.


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