Taliban school attack ‘horrifying’

Published: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by The News Editor

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David Cameron has expressed his horror after Taliban militants stormed a military school in Pakistan killing 84 children.

The attack began in the morning with gunmen entering the school and firing at random, according to local police.

The Pakistani military launched a rescue operation, with commandos exchanging fire with the militants.

Mr Cameron said: ” The news from Pakistan is deeply shocking. It’s horrifying that children are being killed simply for going to school.”

One of the wounded students, Abdullah Jamal, was shot in the leg during a first-aid class.

“I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming,” he said. “I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet. All the children had bullet wounds. All the children were bleeding.”

The school is sited on the edge of a military cantonment in the city of Peshawar, but the majority of the students are civilian.

News images of the aftermath of the attack showed boys in blood-soaked school uniforms with green blazers being carried from the scene.

Police officer Javed Khan said army commandos quickly arrived at the school and exchanged fire with the gunmen.

Pakistani television showed soldiers surrounding the area and pushing people back.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack with a spokesman saying: “We targeted the school because the army targets our families. We want them to feel our pain.”

Taliban spokesman Mohammed Khurasani said six suicide bombers had carried out the attack in revenge for the killing of Taliban members by Pakistani forces.

The chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pervez Khattak said that 84 students had died and roughly the same number had been wounded during the attack.

According to Khattak, the 84 fatalities were all children, but hospital officials had previously indicated that at least one of those who died was a teacher and another a security official.

One official was quoted as saying over 100 people had died in the incident.

Pakistani troops were surrounding the school, where the crisis was continuing at 3pm local time (10am UK).

Labour leader Ed Miliband added his voice to the outrage, saying: “Devastating news from Pakistan. Appalling that school children were targeted in this murderous attack. My thoughts are with those affected.”

Peshawar in the north west of Pakistan has been the target of frequent militant attacks in the past.

Politician and former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan said: “Shocked at attack on school in Peshawar. Strongly condemn this inhuman act of utter barbarism.”

Published: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by The News Editor

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