Tuesday, December 16, 2014
At least 145 people, more than 100 of them children and teenagers, are dead in a massacre after nine Taliban gunmen rampaged through a Pakistani public military school
The chaotic scene in Peshawar began with Muslim militants, some of whom reportedly wore suicide vests, storming the school, taking dozens of hostages and shooting at random. Army commandos quickly responded and began trading fire with the Islamic gunmen, who initially gained access by scaling a rear wall. All were ultimately killed after an eight-hour battle, during which hostages were reportedly held in the school's auditorium. The school's 2,500 students range from ages 4 to 16. "My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now," wailed one parent collecting the body of his 14-year-old. "My son was my dream. My dream has been killed." "We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females," said a Taliban spokesman. "We want them to feel our pain." Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif quickly headed to Peshawar, where three days of mourning have been declared. The slaughter comes on the heels of the Nobel Peace Prize for 17-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai — herself the victim of a Taliban attack — and she reacted swiftly, saying that "I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror," and that "I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters — but we will never be defeated."