Home Latest News Taliban Attack Army-run School in Peshawar

Taliban Attack Army-run School in Peshawar

by AFP and Newsweek Pakistan
37 comments
Aftab Ahmed—AFP

Aftab Ahmed—AFP

TTP spokesman claims six attackers inside the school have been ordered to target ‘older students.’

Taliban attacked an Army-run school in Peshawar on Tuesday, officials and militants said, with over 100 students killed and another 200 reportedly wounded.

Five or six militants wearing military uniforms entered the Army Public School, reportedly through a graveyard located behind the school, according to a source at the school. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the gunmen had been ordered to shoot older students but not children.

“There has been an incident of firing at Army Public School in Peshawar. Troops have cordoned off the area and [are] searching for the militants,” a senior military official told AFP. He said troops had surrounded the school, and television footage showed soldiers taking up positions. According to local media, there were 1,500 children in the school at the time of the attack.

The school on Peshawar’s Warsak Road is part of the Army Public Schools and Colleges System, which runs 146 schools nationwide for the children of military personnel and civilians. Its students range in age from around 10 to 18. The schools educate the children of both officers and non-commissioned soldiers and Army wives often teach in them.

An eyewitness has told Newsweek that one of the attackers has detonated a suicide jacket near the school auditorium, where two classes were attending a lecture at the time of the attack.

Ayaz Jamil, a spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital, said the institution had received over 40 injured so far. “Over 10 of the injured are currently in critical condition,” he added. “We fear the death toll will rise.” The hospital has appealed to all residents of Peshawar to donate blood on immediate basis, saying there is a severe need for more blood to treat the injured.

Distraught parents thronged the Lady Reading Hospital in the wake of the attack, weeping uncontrollably as children’s bodies arrived, their school uniforms drenched in blood. Irshadah Bibi, 40, whose 12-year-old son was among the dead, beat her face in grief, throwing herself against an ambulance. “O God, why did you snatch away my son? What is the sin of my child and all these children?” she wept.

Shehram Khan, minister for health, told media 26 people had been killed—24 schoolchildren, one female teacher, and one soldier. He added that 46 injured were currently hospitalized. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak later amended the death toll, claiming 104 people—84 of them schoolchildren—were dead and approximately 83 others injured. He said 60 of the deceased had been transferred to the Civil Military Hospital while the rest had been received at the Lady Reading Hospital. In a tweet, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home Department said that the death toll had crossed 126 with firing still underway. Local media reported that the death toll had reached 130, with schoolchildren comprising the vast majority of the deceased. More than 200 are injured, it added.

Shuja Khan, one of the students who was evacuated to safety, told Newsweek: “The attack occurred when a senior military officer was addressing a function at the school.” He said he believed the senior official’s presence had prompted the attack, saying the militants opened fire as soon as the official started speaking. “The moment they [terrorists] opened fire, we were told to lie down on the floor and we immediately complied,” he said. “I heard an explosion after a gunman shouted ‘Allah-o-Akbar,’” he added.

Mudassar Abbas, a physics laboratory assistant at the school, said some students were celebrating at a party when the attack began. “I saw six or seven people walking class-to-class and opening fire on children,” he said.

A student who survived the attack said soldiers came to rescue students during a lull in the firing. “When we were coming out of the class we saw dead bodies of our friends lying in the corridors. They were bleeding. Some were shot three times, some four times,” the student said. “The men entered the rooms one by one and started indiscriminate firing at the staff and students.”

The Pakistan military, in a statement, informed media the majority of teachers and students had been evacuated but there were still “many” within the school. Ahmed Wali, a member of the Police Elite Force, claimed the Pakistan Army had already killed two terrorists. However, he said there were still at least three more militants engaged in combat with the military. In a subsequent statement issued at 3:45 p.m., the military said that the militants had been confined to four blocks of the school, and that four terrorists had been killed so far. “5th terrorist killed in the last under clearance block of school,” the military spokesman tweeted about 25 minutes later, adding that two children and two teachers had also been rescued. At 5:15 p.m., spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa tweeted that the sixth militant had also been killed and an additional four hostages had been rescued. “IEDs planted by terrorists hamper speed of clearance,” he added.

The attack comes as the Pakistani military wages a major offensive against Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan. The TTP spokesman said the attack was in retaliation for the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Spokesman Muhammad Khorasani also 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. “They [military] was always wrong about our capabilities,” he told Newsweek. “We are still able to carry out major attacks. This was just the trailer.”

Khorasani further claimed that the Army Public School was targeted because “nearly all the students are children of Army personnel.” He warned the military to stop releasing statements claiming it had killed militants, adding that if their demands were not met, they would continue targeting military-run organizations. According to the TTP spokesman, the military has only been able to kill 10 militants in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He claimed the military’s figure of over 1,200 militants killed was false.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa information minister Mushtaq Ghani confirmed there were six militants in the school. He  said this attack would not be tolerated. “Attacking innocent children is the most abominable crime,” he said, adding that the attack was likely in reaction to the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb. “The provincial government has announced compensation of Rs. 500,000 for families of the deceased, and Rs. 200,000 for families of injured,” said Najiullah Khattak, the spokesman for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister.

P.M. Nawaz Sharif has condemned the attack and vowed that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. During a press conference, he said Operation Zarb-e-Azb would continue until terrorism had been eradicated from the country. He said the military operation had reached a “decisive” juncture and the nation needed to unite against terrorists. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, whose party rules in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, has also condemned the “barbaric” attack. Both leaders also decided to travel to Peshawar to meet victims of the attack and oversee the ongoing military offensive. Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif also cut short a trip to Quetta and rushed to Peshawar to oversee the military operation. The PTI has announced three days of mourning in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It also announced that a nationwide strike, scheduled for Dec. 18, had been indefinitely postponed in light of the tragedy.

India also condemned the deadly attack with Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying the incident exposed the “real face of terrorism.”

“I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on a school at Peshawar,” he tweeted. “This dastardly & inhuman attack exposes the real face of terrorism. My heart goes out to the families of those children who got killed by the terrorists in Peshawar.” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted his condemnations, saying: “It is a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings—young children in their school.” He added: “My heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. We share their pain & offer our deepest condolences.”

Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, said she was “heartbroken” by “the senseless and cold blooded killing” of scores of children by the Taliban militants. “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this,” Yousafzai said in a statement. “I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable.”

Talat Masood, a retired general and security analyst, said the attack was intended to weaken the military’s resolve. “It is both tactical and strategic. The militants know they won’t be able to strike at the heart of the military, they don’t have the capacity because the Army is prepared,” he told AFP. “So they are going for soft targets. These attacks have a great psychological impact.”

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37 comments

Kill Taliban December 16, 2014 - 2:32 pm

What wrong did the children do???

This is what these Dogs of Hell call as Shiddat to their Religion????

Neither their top boss or maulvis have ever known what is Islam… nor have the slightest notion what is written in Holy Quran…

Na-pak Log, unke Na-pak irade aur unke Na-pak Paidaish…

With the touch of their unholy hands the Quran would too become “Na-Pak”

These people are disgrace to the entire mankind, their religion & sadly to their mothers.

The world should unite to remove them completely from the face of the Earth. Human Rights should be revoked & forgotten while dealing with Taliban..

For a Taliban we need to be a Taliban & make the world a safe place to live for our children.

I would request my Pakistani Brothers & Sisters to unite with the world forces & destroy this Unholy Menace whom they call as ‘Jehad’ & lets make the world a better place to live for our Children…

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Aamir December 16, 2014 - 3:20 pm

They’re not muslims,,!! TTP is just a fake name, it’s the best name to blame Islam and Taliban..!! Taliban are only those who are fighting againt the USA in Afganistan. They have nothing to do in Pakistan. In Islam, if a person kills a man, it is equal to kill all the human beings..!! He will not be Muslim..!!!

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Sajjad December 16, 2014 - 3:03 pm

The whole nation should be united against These Animals and should not tolerated . Pakistan should use all possible resourses to eliminate their existence from the soil . All their spokemen and supporters should be held and must safeguard the institutions nad places with alert forces . The nations must forget their own vested interest and unite against them – The Taliban Khan should look after his Province also and focus on Core issues rather than His dream of Becoming PM .Remember we all are with the existence of Pakistan -if there is no Pakistan , we will be Refugees somewhere – So please wake up and think of the Nation and be United – Our Hearts and sympathies are with the families who have lost their Children and who are suffering for Injured – May Allah Almighty Bless our Country and save from these Haiwan . I wish all responsible for the administration of Country work sincerely and honestly to eliminate these VIRUS from Pakistan.
Those hiding them or supporting them for their vested interest or Earning must understand that Tomorrow , they or their Children could be the Victiim .
Pakistan Zindabad !!

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ALEE December 16, 2014 - 3:34 pm

Shame on you America. this is all because of you.you are the one who created taliban.

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farhan34 December 19, 2014 - 1:50 am

we all are responsible for this

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Muhmmad Shehzad December 16, 2014 - 4:14 pm

Just kill them kill them i cant stop my emotions lanat inn sab par mera bas nahi chal raha hai ka main inn ko mar doon

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farhan34 December 19, 2014 - 1:52 am

its time for action not emotions dear itihad mazboot karo lannat behjo tamam politicians per ek ho jao sab

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Usman Ali December 16, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Army is just reaping which they had sowed in Zia Era.

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Aymen Saqib December 18, 2014 - 1:03 pm

Isn’t the army reaping enough of that in Zarb-e-Azab in the form of brave martyr soldiers? :’/

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Karamat Hashmi December 16, 2014 - 5:44 pm

Alllah – hu Akbar Kitni sharam ki baat hai ke muslim muslim ko mar raha hai .woh shaks kabhi insan ho hi nahin sakta jis ke andar aisa jazba bedar ho 🙁

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zubair December 17, 2014 - 12:33 am

Muslim nae hen wolog jinhon ne ye sb kia. Ye to muslims ko bdnam krne k lye name lgaya jata he taliban ka kaam ye sb koi musalman nae krega ye yahudi hen jo ab bhes badl k taliban bne phirte hen or dehsht grd hen…

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mehr December 17, 2014 - 11:01 am

karamat hashmi …they donot deserve to be called as muslim who killed small innocent childer,,,,,without any reason…..(this is not bravery that you show your power on innocent children….they must have guts to fight against our Army)

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ALESHBA KHAN February 11, 2015 - 11:00 am

NICE COMMENT.

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Madiha Salman December 16, 2014 - 5:48 pm

Inoccents paid the terrorism price…heart breaking!

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A ghafoor kakar December 17, 2014 - 9:24 am

Allah in janeiro ki nasal ki taba I barbad Kate Allah in mahsoomo ka dark at bland Karen or lawahikeen ko OSS Azeri Samoyed ko bardasht Keene ki tigers de Ameen .Abdul Ghafoor Kakar

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Ameer December 16, 2014 - 8:13 pm

Its crying moment..Allah rhm kr dy Ameen

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farhan34 December 19, 2014 - 1:54 am

jo khud per raham nhi chahty us per koi raham nhi karta ek ho jao sab fight against them ready ho jao un k liye jb samna ho tu bata do k kis sy pala para hy

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Saaim khattak December 16, 2014 - 8:26 pm

Literally Heart breaking . I feel like crying what was the mistake of these innocent children . Talibans and America should be killed the same way like they did . Allah pak in bachoun ko jannat me jaga dey or ink maa bap ko sabar ata farmaye ameen . 🙁
Lannat ho america or talibans par.

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sdasfdf December 16, 2014 - 9:58 pm

kill those bastards……. ghalti hakumat ki ha… choty choty operation krati ha or apny ilaqy saf krti ha… seda seda aik barha hamla afghanistan pe kro sab khtm kr do.ye sab wahin se aty hn…90 unit of atomic bomb kb use kren gy… ye kutti nasal hi fasadi ha…. america ka iraq or afghanistan pe attack ka jo b maqsad ho is k sath sath aik r b maqsad tha k dunya unki power bhool gai thi jo unho ne japan ka hashar kia tha… only way to defend is to attack……

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mmsaleem December 16, 2014 - 10:24 pm

Alllah – hu Akbar Kitni sharam ki baat hai ke muslim muslim ko mar raha hai .woh shaks kabhi insan ho hi nahin sakta jis ke andar aisa jazba bedar hu

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sadia qasim December 16, 2014 - 10:35 pm

What the hell they r doing with innocent people n today they have crossed all the limits n shoot the children badly .can’t speek don’t have words to say anything my heart is crying bitterly

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farhan34 December 19, 2014 - 1:58 am

who kil them prepare ur self to kil them force all the schols collages universities to also prepare student for self defense give special training special clases to all students for self defence

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ABDURREHMAN December 17, 2014 - 2:03 am

Allah-u-Akbar!!!o my great Allah!deal whith mercy those parrots of paradise which are thy guests tonight and martyred in the wild TTP’s attack today.nation should be united at this occasion to eradicate terrorism from the country.The attackers are neither include humans nor animals but they are the wose ones .

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Rajeev Prabhu December 17, 2014 - 2:12 am

Utter Shame…the Power brokers need to hang their heads in shame…. Is this what our quest for God…and our religions teach us…and compel us to do… Shame…My heart moves to all the innocents who lost their lives in this terrible massacre…and all the parents and family members who lost a beloved one….

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waqas December 17, 2014 - 3:33 am

These peoples are enemies of humanity enemies of islam,,,even we can not say these are human they are more than animals, how hey could do this how they could easily killed innocent students innocents children may ALLAH destroy their nation May ALLAH Destroy those peoples who are support these kind of animals..

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Muskan December 17, 2014 - 8:44 am

My message to those cowards is that “wear bangles on your hands because u r not males u r more than in between s”

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nazakat hussain December 17, 2014 - 8:48 am

will these innocent 132+ students be awarded noble prize??? will American government show one day mourning as Turkish our brother n country did????

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Garima December 19, 2014 - 12:28 am

And what will a noble prize and a one day mourning by America achieve??

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raziab December 17, 2014 - 2:00 pm

ye kute k bache Professor Ibrahim our Molana Fazal ur Rehman jaise munafiq inn drindon k hamayti hain. inn ko publically nanga kro

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farhan34 December 19, 2014 - 2:00 am

dear apne in jazbat ko safe karo apne gusse ko kahar bano in k liye kuch esa karo k nuksan un ko ho jo esa karte hain na k khud ko

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Manthak (@manojthaker33) December 17, 2014 - 5:36 pm

utterly shameful attack on humanity. This shows the talibans are not animals, to call them followers of any religion will be insult to the religion. Having said that its the Pakistan army who supported talibans along with America during Soviet invention and continue to export terrorism in neighbouring country.
Pakistan army is playing with fire and the fire affected the Pak civil society.
Time for Pakistan to stop, Pause and rethink the foreign Policy of supporting terrorism.

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Khurasani December 17, 2014 - 8:22 pm

Just respond accordingly: Either Regulate or close down all madrasah or religious institution who don’t follow Pak Constitution, denounce public freedom, girls education, army action of Zerb-e-Azb etc, etc. Enforce Pak Afghan border. Find Mullah Umar & Fazlullah. Hang all terrorists in jail. That’s what going to hurt them. That’s what the language they understand. That’s where you hit them where it hurts. We have to be brave like they think they are. In the end: Pak Army must have done a very good job that bent TTP for such a cowardice act. TTP IS LIER NOT PAK ARMY. Don’t listen to TTP. They want us to distrust Pak Army. After all killing and Murders they still think we must listen to these bloody ruthless animals?

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silla gohare December 18, 2014 - 1:41 am

its very bad kon si maan naye socha tha k aje sham maray bachay ki laash milay gi my heart is crying I wish may apnay khaton say in zalimoon ko maroon pr inn ko mare ker apnay hi hath ganday hon gay I solute the bravery of the children in Peshawar army public school

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Sana December 18, 2014 - 5:05 pm

Insha Allah Allah un logoon ko (jo dusry bygunah logoon k sath ghair insani salook karty hain ) un ko un k kiay ki saza zarur dey ga.Ye hum sab musalmanoon ki dua hai

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farhan34 December 19, 2014 - 1:47 am

is this the time for comments, i think we need some more, if we never need this please wake up THIS IS THE TIME FOR ACTION, ACTION AGAINST ALL TERRORIST ACTION AGAINST ALL ARE POLITICIANS.

wake up now or never

if not then

wait till ur turn comes

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FAHAD (The Tiger) January 16, 2015 - 5:04 am

They should be arrested alive, army should cut every part of their body as we perform the
slaughtation on eid and then pieces of their bodies should be thrown to dogs and crows by filming them to news channels…this is only the solution,punishment for them. they should not be fired at all, its very easy death….

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RAJA TASSAWAR NAFEER October 31, 2015 - 7:00 pm

wo log jinhoon nein insaniat ka khatam ho jane ka sabot diya unhein un ke kiyy ki saza zaroor mile gi .un masoom phoolon ke saath itna ghatia salook aur unhein is chaman se ukhar phanknein ki jurat karne waloon ko jahnum se bhi badtar saza milni chahiye aur mile gi bhi . wo insaaf karne wala sab ke saath insaaf zaroor kare ga (INSHALLAH)

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