Update December 17, 2014

Dhaka 7-36 am, 22-September, 2020

Pakistan mourns its school dead

NT

pak-1418783716The Pakistani city of Peshawar has begun burying its dead after a Taliban attack at a school killed at least 132 children and nine staff.

Mourners crowded around coffins bedecked with flowers, while other families waited at hospitals for news.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared three days of mourning and Pakistan`s army struck at militants in the region.

World leaders voiced disgust at the Taliban`s deadliest attack to date, which even its Afghan allies disowned.

According to the army, Tuesday`s attack was carried out by seven Taliban attackers, all wearing bomb vests.

They cut through a wire fence to enter the school from the rear and attacked an auditorium where children were taking an exam.

Gunmen then went from classroom to classroom at the military-run school, shooting pupils and teachers where they found them, survivors say.

The siege at Peshawar`s Army Public School, which teaches boys and girls from both military and civilian backgrounds, lasted eight hours.

A total of 125 people were wounded, according to the army before all seven attackers were killed. Hundreds of people were evacuated.

The Pakistani Taliban sought to justify the attack by saying it was revenge for the army`s ongoing campaign against them. The school was chosen as a target, the militants said, because their families had also suffered heavy losses.

In line with the Islamic custom, mourners began burying victims as darkness fell.

The bier carrying the shrouded body of one teacher was strewn with flowers as men crowded around it.

 At the funeral of one pupil, his father told the Associated Press news agency: “He was only 15 years old and was in the eighth grade.

“I was in the court when I received a call about the incident and then rushed towards the hospital… He got a bullet right in his chest and another bullet hit his hand. I am sorry I can`t talk any more about it.”

Sajid Khan, uncle of 10-year-old victim Gul Sher, told AFP news agency his nephew had plans to become a doctor.

“We cannot take the revenge from the terrorists but we pray to Allah to take the revenge,” he said.

BBC Online

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