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Taleban attack on Pakistan school leaves more than 130 people dead

UPDATE: Pakistan school attack over, all militants dead

A bloody Taliban raid on an army-run school in northwest Pakistan has ended, police said on Tuesday.

The assault on the school in the city of Peshawar killed at least 130 people, most of them students, according to officials.


Pakistani men carrying an injured school girl to a hospital. Photo: AFP

“The combat operation is over, the security personnel are carrying out clearance operation and hopefully they will clear the building in a while,” police official Abdullah Khan told AFP.

“Dead bodies of six terrorists have been found in the building.”


An injured student is being taken to a hospital. Photo: AFP

A teenage survivor described how he played dead to escape the militants as they rampaged through the school, hunting for people to kill.

Shahrukh Khan, 16, said he and his classmates ducked below their desks when four gunmen burst into their room.

“I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches,” Khan told AFP from the trauma ward of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital.

Khan decided to play dead after being shot in both legs, stuffing his tie into his mouth to stifle his screams.


A wounded student getting medical attention. Photo: AFP

“The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again,” he said.

“My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me – I felt as though it was death that was approaching me.”


A Pakistani man carrying an injured student at a hospital. Photo: AFP


Taleban militants launched a deadly attack on Tuesday on an army-run school in Pakistan, killing more than 120 people, officials said.

Most of the victims were students between the age of 10 and 18.

 

The militants are still holding an unknown number of children hostage.

 

Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar and gunmen went from classroom to classroom, shooting children.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for a major military offensive in the region, saying militants had been ordered to shoot older students.

 

The attack began around 10.30am (1.30pm, Singapore time) when a group of at least five insurgents, reportedly in military uniforms, entered the school.

Pakistan’s military headquarters said a "rescue operation" was under way, with troops still exchanging fire with attackers more than three hours after the incident began.

 

A security official said hundreds of students and staff were in the school when the attack began, though the bulk of them have been evacuated. It is unclear how many are still in the school.


A soldier escorting schoolchildren who were rescued from the Army Public School. Photo: Reuters

 

Provincial information minister Mushtaq Ghani said many of the dead were killed in a suicide blast.

 

India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh and UK's Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the attack.

 

A student who survived the attack said soldiers came to rescue students during a lull in the firing.

"When we were coming out of the class, we saw dead bodies of our friends lying in the corridors. They were bleeding. Some were shot three times, some four times,” the student said.

“The men entered the rooms one by one and started indiscriminate firing at the staff and students.”


Rescue workers and family members carrying the coffin of a student who was killed during the attack. Photo: Reuters

Source: AFP, Reuters

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