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Pakistan In Mourning Following Peshawar School Massacre

Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani province on Tuesday, killing at least 141 people – including 132 children – and injuring 124 people. The seven attackers were killed.

Originally posted on
Updated on
Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

Women mourn their relative Mohammed Ali Khan, 15, a student who was killed during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, at his house in Peshawar December 16, 2014.

What We Know So Far:

  • At least 141 people killed in an attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.
  • At least 132 of the victims are children.
  • The seven attackers are dead.
  • 124 people were injured, including 121 students.
  • Taliban claimed responsibility for the massacre.
  • The attackers gained access to the school wearing military uniforms, opened fire and detonated explosives.
  • Funerals for the victims have been taking place.
  • Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the moratorium for the death penalty in cases of terrorism the day after the attack.

Updates

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Faulty Alarm Clock Saves Ninth-Grader From Peshawar School Attack

Dawood Ibrahim, reportedly the only surviving ninth-grader, could have been one of his slain classmates if he woke up for school on time on Tuesday morning.

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The Associated Press has footage from inside the school:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
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BBC News' Mishal Husain has shared several pictures from the aftermath of the attack on her Twitter account. Warning: Some readers may find these images graphic.

The principal's office where a suicide bomber blew himself up

Mishal Husain@MishalHusainBBCFollow

The principal's office where a suicide bomber blew himself up

7:47 AM - 17 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Inside the auditorium where 100 children died

One of the doors leading into the auditorium. Broken spectacles on the floor

Mishal Husain@MishalHusainBBCFollow

One of the doors leading into the auditorium. Broken spectacles on the floor

7:56 AM - 17 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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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.

Government spokesman Mohiuddin Wani said Sharif had approved a ministerial committee's decision to lift the moratorium for terrorism cases.

"It was decided that this moratorium should be lifted. The prime minister approved," Wani said.

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A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban told Al Jazeera that the youngest children at the school had been allowed to leave. The others had been killed in revenge of military actions against the Taliban in North Waziristan.

Khuram Parvez / Reuters

Students at the school ranged in age from 5 to 17. Some were the children of military members, while others came from civilian families seeking a higher level education.

The eight-hour rampage began with the militants running through the school shooting guns and throwing grenades, the New York Times reported. They then rained bullets on an auditorium, where a first aid class was taking place. Survivors were executed.

Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

Iftikhar mourns his son Mohammed Ali Khan, 15, a student who was killed on Tuesday.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he spoke with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif:

In the wake of dastardly attack in Pakistan, I appeal to schools across India to observe 2 mins of silence tomorrow as a mark of solidarity.

Narendra Modi@narendramodiFollow

In the wake of dastardly attack in Pakistan, I appeal to schools across India to observe 2 mins of silence tomorrow as a mark of solidarity.

12:20 PM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif over the telephone. Offered my deepest condolences on the dastardly terror attack in Peshawar.

Narendra Modi@narendramodiFollow

Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif over the telephone. Offered my deepest condolences on the dastardly terror attack in Peshawar.

12:25 PM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

India stands firmly with Pakistan in fight against terror. Told PM Sharif we are ready to provide all assistance during this hour of grief.

Narendra Modi@narendramodiFollow

India stands firmly with Pakistan in fight against terror. Told PM Sharif we are ready to provide all assistance during this hour of grief.

12:27 PM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Afghan Taliban condemns Pakistani Taliban's attack on school: ''Killing innocent children is against the principals of Afghan Taliban."

ABC News@ABCFollow

Afghan Taliban condemns Pakistani Taliban's attack on school: ''Killing innocent children is against the principals of Afghan Taliban."

12:52 PM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai issued this second statement on the attacks:

Facebook: FBNewswire
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America stands with #Pakistan in this difficult hour. Death of so many children so hard to bear. Depravity of terrorists knows no bounds.

John Kerry@JohnKerryFollow

America stands with #Pakistan in this difficult hour. Death of so many children so hard to bear. Depravity of terrorists knows no bounds.

11:48 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The Pakistani military said 141 people were killed, including 132 children, according to the Associated Press.

Asim Bajwa told a news conference Tuesday that 132 of the dead were children and another nine were staff members.

He said there were seven attackers, who all wore explosive vests.

He said they didn't appear to want to take anyone hostage but instead started firing indiscriminately when they entered the school.

The school attack is one of the worst in Pakistan's history.
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A student who was injured in the attack, Shahrukh Khan, 16, told AFP how he played dead after being shot in both legs:

"Someone screamed at us to get down and hide below the desks," he said, adding that the gunmen shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) before opening fire.

"Then one of them shouted: 'There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them'," Khan told AFP.

"I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches."

...

"I folded my tie and pushed it into my mouth so that I wouldn't scream.

"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.

"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."

He said he later went into another room, where he saw the office assistant's body on fire.

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BREAKING: Pakistani officials say siege at school is over, authorities sweeping the buildings.

The Associated Press@APFollow

BREAKING: Pakistani officials say siege at school is over, authorities sweeping the buildings.

9:38 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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President Obama released this statement on the attack:

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today's horrific attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and loved ones. By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity. We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region.
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Alleged Taliban commander Jihad Yar Wazir told the Daily Beast why children were targeted:

"What about our kids and children," he said. "These are the kids of the U.S.-backed Pakistani army and they should stop their parents from bombing our families and children."
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#Psr Update:Latest;7 more male staff members and 4 lady teachers rescued by SSG.Closing up

AsimBajwaISPR@AsimBajwaISPRFollow

#Psr Update:Latest;7 more male staff members and 4 lady teachers rescued by SSG.Closing up

7:32 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Scenes from the attack, including injured students, mourners, and coffins arriving at a hospital. WARNING: Some people may consider this video disturbing.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
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Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan's Swat Valley in 2012 has described the attack in Peshawar as "atrocious and cowardly." She said:

I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us.
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A student injured in the siege told NDTV from a hospital bed:

As soon as we entered the hall, firing started behind us in the hall. Our teacher said close the doors. We closed the doors and suddenly they entered, breaking the doors… As soon as we hid under tables, they fired bullets at our legs and our heads and then they burned our madam. They burned our madam. The firing continued but we didn't move because whoever moved got shot at.
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Pakistani officials said a sixth gunman has been killed, and that improvised explosive devices are hampering rescue efforts:

#Psr Update:2 more children,2 teachers rescued.6th terrorist killed in last block.IEDs planted by terrorists hamper speed of clearance

AsimBajwaISPR@AsimBajwaISPRFollow

#Psr Update:2 more children,2 teachers rescued.6th terrorist killed in last block.IEDs planted by terrorists hamper speed of clearance

7:14 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The Department of Home and Tribal Affairs in Peshwar announced a compensation plan for victim families:

CM announces monetary compensation to huge human losses incurred #PeshawarAttack. 5 lakh & 2 Lakh for martyred and the injured respectively

Home Department KPK@htakpkFollow

CM announces monetary compensation to huge human losses incurred #PeshawarAttack. 5 lakh & 2 Lakh for martyred and the injured respectively

6:31 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Statement from the American ambassador in Islamabad:

On behalf of the American people, U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson extends the deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims of Tuesday's heinous attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar. The United States strongly condemns senseless and inhumane attacks on innocent students and educators, and stands in solidarity with the people of Pakistan, and all who fight the menace of terrorism. Few have suffered more at the hands of terrorists and extremists than the people of Pakistan. That is why it remains essential for the United States and Pakistan to continue to work together to secure peace and stability in the region.
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the attacks:

Strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack at a school in Peshawar.

Narendra Modi@narendramodiFollow

Strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack at a school in Peshawar.

5:35 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

It is a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings - young children in their school.

Narendra Modi@narendramodiFollow

It is a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings - young children in their school.

5:37 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

My heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. We share their pain & offer our deepest condolences.

Narendra Modi@narendramodiFollow

My heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. We share their pain & offer our deepest condolences.

5:37 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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A doctor at Pakistan's Lady Reading Hospital, where many victims were transported, told the BBC that some children have bullet wounds to the chest while others were injured by suicide bombs.

The doctor added that one of the militants launched a suicide attack on the students while they were playing in the playground.

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The prime minister called the attack "cowardly":

Nawaz Sharif: 3-day mourning declared | #PeshawarAttack is an absolutely cowardly act

Doordarshan News@DDNewsLiveFollow

Nawaz Sharif: 3-day mourning declared | #PeshawarAttack is an absolutely cowardly act

11:16 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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MAP: Location of #Peshawar school that is under attack from #Taliban gunmen - live updates http://t.co/RSNt1teFac

BBC News Graphics@BBCNewsGraphicsFollow

MAP: Location of #Peshawar school that is under attack from #Taliban gunmen - live updates http://t.co/RSNt1teFac

6:02 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite