In the end the Peshawar school massacre left 148 dead (latest numbers), most of them children and staff, and now Pakistan begins three days of mourning, as details of who the perpetrators were and what exactly happened emerge.
The scene is gruesome, as revealed by the first images from reporters who were allowed inside. Not only is blood splattered all over the classrooms, but bullet holes cover almost every inch of the walls in the building.
The horrors of what took place during the Peshawar school massacre are tough to swallow, as in any attack which involves young children. An auditorium which was packed with students, when nine Taliban gunmen stormed in, still has books covered in victims’ blood. A burned classroom is witness to the last horrific moments of a teacher’s life.
— SadQ 🙁 Peshawar (@RJSadiaSattar) December 17, 2014
The school’s principal, Tahira Qazi, was found among the debris overnight, bringing the dead toll to 148, The Independent reports. Military spokesman, Major General Asim Bajwa, says Qazi was in her office when the attackers stormed inside the administration building, he adds that she locked herself into the bathroom, however she was killed after a grenade was thrown through a vent of the room where she was hiding.
The Pesahawar school massacre is the deadliest Pakistan has seen in recent years, after Taliban terrorists broke into the building and murdered 132 children, wounded 121 other along with three-staff members. According to Bajwa, the terrorists entered the main auditorium, where the children were gathered for an event and started shooting at random.
— The Independent (@Independent) December 17, 2014
Police says that the attackers then took control of the building until military commandos fought the terrorists for eight hours, reportedly killing all of the culprits. Survivors are relating stories of what was happening inside the Peshawar school during the massacre. Shahrukh Khan, 15, escaped getting killed by hiding under her desk.
“One of my teachers was crying, she was shot in the hand and she was crying in pain.”
“One terrorist then walked up to her and started shooting her until she stopped making any sound. All around me my friends were lying injured and dead.”
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 17, 2014
According to Agence France Press, a 16-year-old student by the name of Salman — who survived being shot in both legs — heard the gunmen shout “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest), before opening fire.
“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.”
In a statement, Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Muhammad Umar Khorasani, explained why the terrorist organization chose this particular school.
“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.”
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 16, 2014
Not only has the Western world condemned the evil attack in the strongest terms, even other terrorists groups said the Peshawar school massacre is “un-Islamic” and distanced themselves from the group that perpetrated the act. The Afghan Taliban — which is different from the terrorist group in Pakistan — issued a statement.
“The intentional killing of innocent people, women, and children goes against the principles of Islam and every Islamic government and movement must adhere to this fundamental essence.”
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan expresses its condolences over the incident and mourns with the families of killed children. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has always condemned the killing of children and innocent people at every juncture.”
Mass funerals for the victims of the Peshawar school massacre have already begun and will continue in the following days. Pakistan is under a period of mourning the innocent victims of the worst terrorist attack in recent memory.
[Image via Twitter]