Pakistan: Peshawar School Massacre

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Terrorists have stormed a military-run school for children in Peshawar city of northwest province Pakistan on Tuesday. Our sources on the ground report that at least 126 people mostly children have been shot dead by Talibans.

This is the most deadly attack by any terrorist group in the country.

The attack started around 10am when a group of 7-8 terrorists from the banned TTP organization entered an Army school in the city, wearing army uniform, equipped with automatic guns suicide bombing jackets and hand grenades.

An eye witness student explains the massacre:

“We were in the examination hall when firing started and our teachers thought it’s just a security drill but when people started screaming, the teachers told us to lay down. We were able to go out once the real army commandos rescued us but we saw the terrorists were shooting kids non-stop. They were pinpointing and shooting kids in the face, head, chest whatever they could see. All terrorists were speaking Arabic, according to the student.”

The terrorists installed bombs on at least four sides of the school. However, Special Services Group (SSG) of elite commandos were quick to defuse 2 of the bombs. The other two bombs were still active at the time of publishing this article.

According to the Intel service public relation (ISPR) of the Pakistan Army, six terrorists have been shot dead, the rescue operation is in its last stage and most of the people have been rescued but some are still taken as hostages.

The terrorist attack on the Pakistani military school is said to be in retaliation against the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb in which the Pakistani military successfully eliminated the safe havens for banned TTP (Tahreek e Taliban Pakistan) linking with the Afghan border. Most of the talibans are either killed or ran to Afghanistan from where they plan and conduct terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil like the one happened today.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb is a joint military offensive being conducted by Pakistani security forces against various militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jundallah, al-Qaeda, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Haqqani network.

The operation was launched by the Pakistan Armed Forces on 15 June 2014 in North Waziristan (part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border) as a renewed effort against militancy in the wake of the 8 June attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, for which the TTP and the IMU claimed responsibility. Part of the ongoing war in North-West Pakistan, up to 30,000 Pakistani soldiers are involved in Zarb-e-Azb, described as a “comprehensive operation” to flush out all foreign and local militants hiding in North Waziristan.

The operation has received widespread support from the Pakistani political, defense and civilian sectors. The two largest Islamic clerical groups (the Pakistan Ulema Council and the Council of Islamic Ideology) declared a fatwa endorsing the offensive, calling it a jihad against terrorism.

At the time of publishing this article, the rescue operation was still in progress.

About Author

Erin Gallagher is a multimedia artist, translator and writer for Revolution News.