Taliban-led attack on Pakistan school leaves 141 dead
An assault led by the Taliban on a Pakistan military-run school Tuesday left 141 people dead, 132 of which were children, officials say, in the worst attack to hit the country in years.
The horrific attack in Peshawar, carried out by a relatively small number of militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban group, a Pakistani militant group trying to overthrow the government, also sent dozens of wounded flooding into local hospitals as terrified parents searched for their children.
“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” wailed one parent, Tahir Ali, as he came to the hospital to collect the body of his 14-year-old son Abdullah. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”
Pakistani military spokesman Asim Bajwa told a news conference Tuesday that 132 of the dead were children and another nine were staff members.
He said there were seven attackers, who all wore explosive vests.
A local hospital official told Reuters that the dead and wounded it had seen were between the ages of 10 and 20 years old.
As darkness fell on the area, officials said the country’s military had cleared the school of militants.
“The operation is completed,” said Bilal Ahmad Faizi, the head of the state-run rescue organization, speaking to reporters after leaving the school area.
The attack began in the morning hours, with about half a dozen gunmen entering the school — and shooting at random, said police officer Javed Khan. Army commandos quickly arrived at the scene and started exchanging fire with the gunmen, he said. Students wearing their green school uniforms could be seen on Pakistani television, fleeing the area.
Outside the school, two loud booms were heard coming from the scene in the early afternoon, as Pakistani troops battled with the attackers. Armored personnel carriers were deployed around the school grounds
Pakistani television showed soldiers surrounding the area and pushing people back. Ambulances streamed from the area to local hospitals.
“Then I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet.”
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