Tuesday, 16 December 2014

PAKISTAN: 134 Students Shot Dead At Military School During Exams; 126 Injured

Update: December 15, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 marks the one year anniversary of the 2014 Peshawar school massacre when  seven gunmen affiliated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) carried out a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The militants, all of whom were foreign nationals, included one Chechen, three Arabs and two Afghans. They entered the school and opened fire on school staff and children, killing 141 people, including 132 schoolchildren, ranging between eight and eighteen years of age. A rescue operation was launched by the Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) special forces, who killed all seven terrorists and rescued 960 people. On 02 December, 2015 Pakistan hung four militants involved in the Peshawar massacre.

This was the deadliest terrorist attack ever to occur in Pakistan, surpassing the 2007 Karachi bombing.

A portrait of Asfand Khan, center, sits in his family’s home in Peshawar. Fifteen-year-old Asfand was killed a year ago Wednesday when the Pakistani Taliban attacked his school, killing more than 130 schoolchildren. Asfand’s father, Ajoon Khan, said his son had wanted to be a lawyer and take over his family’s legal practice. PHOTO: A MAJEED/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES | Source

15-year-old Asfand Khan was wearing his father’s shoes on the day six Pakistani Taliban militants armed with assault rifles and explosives attacked his school.

Asfand, the eldest of three siblings, was one of 151 people—including more than 130 students—who died when militants stormed the military-run Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar last year. The assailants moved from room-to-room, methodically executing students and staff, before they were killed by Pakistan Army troops.

“He had grown big enough to fit into them,” Asfand’s father, Ajoon Khan, said recently. “When they brought back his body, one of the shoes was on him, the other was placed next to him. They said he was running [from the attackers], and the shoe came off.”

 Source(s): wikipedia | wsj

Update: January 17, 2014 (11:04 AM)

Touching Photo posted by Student Returning to School After the massacre.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani children returned on Monday to the school where Taliban gunmen killed 150 of their classmates and teachers last month, clutching their parents’ hands tightly in a poignant symbol of perseverance despite the horrors they had endured.

It was the first time the school had reopened since the assault, and security was tight. The nation has been reeling from the Dec. 16 terrorist attack in Peshawar — one of the worst Pakistan has experienced.

Two young students who survived one of Pakistan’s worst terrorist attacks returned this week to the school where the massacre took place, but without 150 of their classmates and teachers.

Their loss was starkly illustrated in a photo posted by teenager Talha Munir Paracha on the first day back at school.

An earlier image shows Paracha with three of his friends. On Monday, Paracha and another student recreated the photo, but with a gaping hole where their two slain friends should have been standing. – huffingtonpost.


Update: December 30, 2014 (10:04 AM)

VIDEO: British boxer Amir Khan pays visit to site of Peshawar school massacre.

British boxer Amir Khan has visited the scene of the Peshawar school massacre and paid his respects to the 142 people, including 132 children, who were killed in the Taliban attack.

The 28-year-old, who is of Pakistani origin, has vowed to help rebuild the Army public school which was devastated in the attack on 16 December. He offered prayers at a memorial to the dead at the school gates and said he wanted to visit the city despite security concerns to show solidarity.

"Setting this whole event up for me, coming to Peshawar, a lot of people say it's very dangerous, but you know I want to thank these people for doing that," Khan said.

"I also want to thank, you know, General Raheel Sharif for putting all this together for me, also General Asim Bajwa," he added.

Update: December 24, 2014 (11:18 AM)

Mother who lost TWO sons in Peshawar massacre reveals heartache at identifying her boy from minor cut he suffered the day before
The healing has only just begun for many. A mother lost not one but TWO sons in this awful massacre. As we celebrate the Holiday Season, let us not forget those who will be suffering…

A heartbroken mother who lost two sons in the Peshawar school massacre has described the horrifying moment she was forced to identify one of her boys from a minor cut he suffered on his finger.

As new images emerged of the pupils just days before the attack, Laleena Ali Shah described how she recognised the body of her ‘gentle’ son Hassnain lying in a pool of blood outside the school thanks only to a plaster on one of his fingers. Her second son Abdullah was found dead and covered in blood nearby.
‘It was very sorry state when we were searching for his body…I recognized him from his finger,’ she said. ‘The bodies were dumped literally in pools of blood. So recognition…was very difficult,’ Mrs Ali Shah added.

Last Tuesday 132 innocent children and 13 members of school staff were slaughtered when depraved Taliban gunmen stormed the school in the north west Pakistani city with assault rifles and grenades, before their ‘handlers’ ordered them to detonate their suicide vests.

The majority of the victims, which included children as young as five, were shot at point blank range in the head or neck – with members of the Pakistani Taliban claiming responsibility for the atrocity and warning the country’s army that it was ‘just the trailer’ for similar attacks in the future.

Yesterday Pakistan said it will execute around 500 militants in the coming weeks after lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following last week’s school massacre. – dailymail

Tragic: Pictured at the school sports day barely two weeks before the tragedy, Hassnain (back row, third from left) was only identified by his mother because of a minor cut on his finger, after he asked his father if he could kill a chicken | Source: dailymail

Grief: School principal Tahira Qazi, who was killed shepherding children to safety, was pictured just days before the tragedy with Brigadier Asad and sports teacher Javed who also died in the incident | Source: dailymail

Jovial scene: Heartbreaking new photographs emerged of teachers and pupils – including Hassnain (circled) – smiling in joy at an army school sports event just days before the massacre. The boys are seen making the peace sign as they pose with footballs and cricket bats | Source: dailymail

Heartbreaking: … another mother, Sumaira Mahfooz, told MailOnline how she too lost a son in the massacre. Academically gifted Ahmad Mahfooz (right holding books) had progressed at an astonishing rate since joining the school, with excellent handwriting in both English and Urdu | Source: dailymail

Horror: Young men are photographed at a school sports event just days before the Peshawar massacre | Source: dailymail

Update: December 19, 2014 (08:35 AM)

Pakistani jets and ground forces killed 59 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, the army said Friday, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people — most of them children — in a school massacre.

The violence at a school in Pakistan’s northwest earlier this week stunned people around the country and sparked cries for retribution. In the wake of the violence the military has struck targets in the Khyber tribal region and approved the death penalty for six convicted terrorists. The military said it had carried out air strikes and ground operations Thursday and Friday in the Khyber agency. The military said its ground forces late Thursday killed 10 militants while jets killed another 17, including an Uzbek commander.

Another 32 terrorists were killed by security forces in an ambush in Tirah valley in Khyber on Friday as they headed toward the Afghan border, the military said. Three security forces were wounded in the ensuing shootout, it said. – NBC

“We want peace” and “we want revenge”.
As expected, emotions are going haywire over the recent and senseless massacre.

It was stated that the attack was the Taliban’s answer to the Pakistan army’s offensive against them; go to an Army Public School and riddle the children of soldiers with bullets. A massacre of the Innocents.

What’s even more disturbing – They appear to be proud of what they’ve done. The Taliban published a photograph of the gunmen they say attacked the school. All of them wore suicide vests. All seven were killed, say the army.

They say they wanted revenge for an army assault that began in June and has resulted in hundreds of deaths in their strongholds. The army and Pakistan’s government has promised swift revenge for the school massacre. And so the cycle turns again. Outside the school protesters held up two signs side by side “we want peace” and “we want revenge”.

“We are all angered. We are all sickened. I think there is nothing that can happen worse than this”. – Pakistan’s army, Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa

It is indeed the deadliest terror attack in Pakistan’s history.

Update: December 17, 2014 (12:03 AM)

The Victims
A Photo showing some of the students of the Peshawar Tragedy:

A combination of undated pictures provided by their families shows some of the students of the Army Public School who were killed on Tuesday Picture: AP | Source

Shaheed Aimal Khan

Facebook: shaheedaimalkhan

A Facebook page has been set up in memory of Shaheed Aimal Khan.

Mubin Shah

Facebook: Mubeen-Shah-Shaheed

Update: December 17, 2014 (11:24 AM)

More images emerging of the tragedy. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has lifted the country’s moratorium on the death penalty, a day after the deadly massacre on a school in Peshawar, Reuters reported.

Peshawar has been the target of frequent militant attacks in the past but has seen a relative lull recently. The Pakistani military launched the military operation in the nearby North Waziristan tribal area in June, vowing that it would go after all militant groups that had been operating in the region. With the launch of the operation, security officials and civilians feared a backlash by militants targeted by the military but until Tuesday, a widespread backlash had failed to materialize. Picture: EPA | Source

Tuesday’s attack calls into question whether the militants have been crippled by the military or will be able to regroup. This appeared to be the worst attack in Pakistan since the 2008 suicide bombing in the port city of Karachi killed 150 people. Picture: EPA | Source

The blood stained auditorium of Army Public School that was attacked by the Taliban militants in Peshawar Picture: EPA | Source

Update: December 17, 2014 (07:33 AM)

Images of Devastation of the Peshawar School Massacre
After the senseless killing of at least 132 children and nine staff, the people of Peshawar are now mourning the dead. PM Nawaz Sharif declared three days of mourning over the massacre, which has sparked national outrage.

Disturbing images below show the scale of the devastation and the brutality of the attack. Gunmen had went from class to class shooting students and pools of blood on the ground and walls covered in hundreds of bullet holes can be seen. – BBC

Images taken by a BBC team inside a classroom show the level of destruction | BBC

An office belonging the school principal was hit by a suicide bomber | BBC

All seven attackers were killed during the eight-hour siege at the school | BBC

Upturned chairs and blood stains left in the wake of the attack at the school’s auditorium | BBC

Funerals for the victims began hours after the attack on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday | BBC

Many schools in Pakistan closed as a mark of respect, with those remaining open holding special prayers | BBC

To Recap Yesterday’s Terrible Event:
  • Officials say more than 140 people, mostly children, have been killed in a Taliban attack on an army-run school in north-west Pakistan
  • Pakistan’s security forces say their operation has now ended, with all seven attackers killed
  • Some pupils, who escaped, earlier said the gunmen went from classroom to classroom, shooting children indiscriminately
  • The Taliban say the assault is in response to army operations in North Waziristan and the Khyber area.

****Original Post****

A hospital security guard helps a student injured in the shootout at a school under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar, Pakistan,Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military school in the northwestern Pakistani city, killing and wounding dozens, officials said, in the latest militant violence to hit the already troubled region. (Photo: AP) | Source

Six Taliban members stormed a military-run school in the violence-prone city of Peshawar, at it’s most heightened time – during exams, in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 134 people, and injuring 126, most of them students between the ages of 12-16 years old, making it the country’s deadliest attacks in recent weeks.

The Talibans were said to be wearing suicide-vests during the attack.

Five of the six attackers were reportedly dead as Pakistani soldiers surrounded the building and began an operation to rescue students still inside.

A witness said, “I saw six or seven people walking class to class and opening fire on children.” There were reports of gruesome killings and the Taliban gunmen using children as human shields.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan said six of its suicide bombers had attacked the school. Its spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said, “They have been ordered to shoot the older students but not the children.” He also said, “We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females…We want them to feel the pain.”

Doctors at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar said many of those injured were in critical condition. They said many had been shot in head. The hospital has reported a shortage of blood and has sought blood donations urgently. At the school, heavy gunfire and multiple blasts were reportedly heard from inside the school. Helicopters swooped overhead and a fleet of ambulances ferried wounded children to the hospital. The six armed attackers in military uniform entered the school from a graveyard and through the rear gate. A teacher said the attackers targeted the school while exams were taking place.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “It is a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings – young children in their school.” Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on a school at Peshwar (Pakistan). This dastardly and inhuman attack exposes the real face of terrorism.”

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has left for Peshawar as has Army chief Raheel Sharif. Opposition leader Imram Khan whose party the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf governs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also headed to Peshawar.

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.

Source(s): ndtv | CNN | deccanchronicle

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