More than 500 students and teachers at an army-run school on Warsak road in the Pakistani city of Peshawar were taken hostage by militants. According to reports, there were at least five militants wearing military uniforms entered the Army Public School in Peshawar. Pakistani Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) has taken responsibility for the deadly attack. At least 104 people, including 84 children have been killed, while another 45 were injured.
A revenge to Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan
A faction of the Taliban said that the militants were ordered to “shoot older students” at the school. According to Brigadier Mehmood Shah, the gunmen entered the school through a graveyard behind the school. He said it was impossible for militants to enter through the main gate. They opened fire on entering the school premises, immediately wounding seven people, including five children. Evacuation is underway.
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The injured people were taken to the Lady Reading Hospital and Combined Military Hospital in Peshawar. A Lady Reading Hospital spokesman confirmed to the Associated Press that a Pakistani soldier has also been killed. Prime minister Nawaz Sharif has directed Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to assist Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in handling the crisis effectively.
A TTP spokesman told Reuters that the brutal killing of innocent children was “a revenge attack for the army offensive in North Waziristan.” Notably, Pakistani military has launched a Zarb-e-Azb operation in tribal North Waziristan to eliminate terrorists from the region. A teacher at the Army Public School told Reuters that the militants targeted the school while exams were taking place.
MQM, PTI chiefs condemn Peshawar attack
More than an hour before the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, PTI MPA Shaukat Ali Yousufzai said after arriving at the scene that the attack seemed to be a blowback from the Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan. The Taliban have vowed to step up attacks against Pakistani targets to revenge the army operation in tribal areas. Last month, more than 54 people were killed near Lahore in a suicide attack.
Prime minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Peshawar. Condemning the attack, Mr Sharif directed all the military and civil security agencies to rescue the children and teachers from the school safely. MQM chief Altaf Hussain also condemned the attack. PTI chairman Imran Khan also condemned the Peshawar attack, saying that the attack one innocent kids was the “worst ever form of barbarism.”