An Army-run school was attacked by Taliban in Peshawar during the early hours of Tuesday Morning. More than 100 people are reported dead and over 80 injured.
Around six Taliban Terrorists, wearing the Army uniforms, entered the Army Public School from the back side of the school, according to one of the eye-witnesses present at the school. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan immediately claimed the responsibility for the brutal attack saying they ordered the attackers to shoot older students but not the 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 media journalists. He informed that Army had taken control of the area. According to local media sources, more than 500 children were present in the school at the time of an attack.
The Army Public School, which was attacked by Taliban, is the school where the children of leading Army personnel and officials come to learn. The school is run by the retired army officials and even the teachers possess the military background. The children of both military officers and civilian officers residing in Peshawar get education at this school.
An eyewitness told the local media networks that one of the attackers exploded the suicidal jacket right outside the main auditorium where three classes were being commenced at a time.
Ayaz Jamil, a spokesman for the Lady Reading Hospital, said the hospital had received over 40 injured so far. “Over 10 of the injured are currently in critical condition,” he said. “We fear the death toll will rise.” The hospital has asked the generous citizens of Peshawar to come forward and donate blood so more injured people could be treated immediately.
Shehram Khan, minister for the health, informed media 26 people had been killed—24 schoolchildren, one female teacher, and one soldier. He added that 46 injured were currently hospitalized. Pervez Khattak, Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa later told that 104 people have died and more than 83 injured. He informed the injured have been taken to hospitals and are under treatment at Civil Military Hospital and Lady Reading Hospital.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home Department thorugh their official twitter account has said that the wounded children are in shock. “Student survivors of #ArmyPublicSchool #WarsakRoad mentally shattered.”
The Pakistan Army through its official PR department ISPR informed the media that majority of the teachers, students, and workers have been evacuated but there are still many of them who are stuck in there. Pakistan Army already killed two terrorists and informed that there were still three more combatants actively engaged against Army commanders.
The attack comes amidst Pakistan Army’s ferocious operation against Taliban in North Waziristan. The operation was considered to have broken the back of Taliban but this attack changed the views of many analysts. The TTP spokesman clearly said that this attack was in retaliation to Army’s strong operation against Taliban. Taliban Spokesman Muhammad Khorasani told that the six attackers were trained to conduct this strike. “They include target killers and suicide attackers. They have been ordered to shoot the older students but not the children,” he said. “They [military] were always wrong about our capabilities,” he said. We are still able to carry out major attacks. This was just the trailer.”
Khorasani cleared all the doubts by claiming that the Army-run-School was targeted because all the children of army personnel go to these schools. He warned that army should stop operation Zarb-e-Azb for if they don’t, they would continue these kinds of attacks which will be more brutal than this one. He further claimed that army’s claim of killing 1200 Taliban fighters was false and Taliban are as strong as they have never been before.
P.M. Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and assured that the terrorists will be punished for this inhumane act. Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, whose is in government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, has also condemned the “barbaric” attack. Both leaders decided to go to Peshawar and show solidarity with the victims and commanders of Pakistan Army. Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif also abandoned the trip to Quetta and rushed to Peshawar to show moral and symbolic support to his soldiers.
Talat Masood, a retired general and security analyst, said the purpose of attack was to neutralize the army’s resolve to fight against Taliban with vigor. “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 while commenting on the tragic attack. “So they are going for soft targets. These attacks have a great psychological impact.”