Pakistani Taliban storm school, slaughter 126, mostly children

Several members of the TTP, the Pakistani arm of the Taliban, scaled the wall of a military school near Peshawar and opened fire on hundreds of students – most between the ages of 10 and 17.

At least 126 are known dead.  The Pakistani army is still fighting the terrorists, who are apparently still holding an unknown number of hostages.

Fox News:

Pervez Khattak, the chief minister of the province where the attack is underway, said scores of those killed in the Tuesday attack were mostly "children" but hospital officials earlier said at least one of the fatalities was a teacher and one security official were also among the dead.

Khattak says the fighting is still unfolding at the school.

The attack began in the morning as the gunmen shot at random students in grades 1-10. Army commandos quickly were on the scene and exchanged fire with the gunmen, officer Javed Khan said.

Outside the school, shooting was initially heard along with one loud bang of unknown origin. Details were sketchy in the unfolding situation and it was unclear what was going on inside and if there were any hostages among the students.

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

Jamil Shah, a spokesman for Lady Reading Hospital said at least one paramilitary solider was killed in the attack. It was not clear whether the soldier was already on the scene when the violence began or was part of the troops who arrived later.

The Pakistani military said in a statement that a rescue operation was underway and that most of the students and the staff had been evacuated. The school is located on the edge of a military cantonment in Peshawar, but the bulk of the students are civilian.

Later, one of the wounded students, Abdullah Jamal, said that he was with a group of 8th, 9th and 10th graders who were getting first-aid instructions and training with a team of Pakistani army medics when the violence began for real.

When the shooting started, Jamal, who was shot in the leg, said nobody knew what was going on in the first few seconds.

"Then I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet," he said, speaking from his hospital bed.

"All the children had bullet wounds. All the children were bleeding," Jamal added.

A TTP spokesman said the attacks were in retaliation for Pakistani army operations in the Northwest Fronteir Provinces that have killed dozens of tribesmen.

When the dust clears and the bodies are counted, this could end up being the deadliest attack on civilians since the Taliban took up arms against the Pakistani government.

This is the deadliest incident inside Pakistan since October 2007, when about 139 Pakistanis died and more than 250 others were wounded in an attack near a procession for exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, according to the University of Maryland's Global Terrorism Database.

The Afghanistan Taliban are no less bloodthirsty, and the Afghan government army is far less capable than the Pakistani military.  Now that combat operations by the U.S. and NATO have ended, it may be only a matter of time before we begin to see terror attacks like this in Afghanistan.

Several members of the TTP, the Pakistani arm of the Taliban, scaled the wall of a military school near Peshawar and opened fire on hundreds of students – most between the ages of 10 and 17.

At least 126 are known dead.  The Pakistani army is still fighting the terrorists, who are apparently still holding an unknown number of hostages.

Fox News:

Pervez Khattak, the chief minister of the province where the attack is underway, said scores of those killed in the Tuesday attack were mostly "children" but hospital officials earlier said at least one of the fatalities was a teacher and one security official were also among the dead.

Khattak says the fighting is still unfolding at the school.

The attack began in the morning as the gunmen shot at random students in grades 1-10. Army commandos quickly were on the scene and exchanged fire with the gunmen, officer Javed Khan said.

Outside the school, shooting was initially heard along with one loud bang of unknown origin. Details were sketchy in the unfolding situation and it was unclear what was going on inside and if there were any hostages among the students.

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

Jamil Shah, a spokesman for Lady Reading Hospital said at least one paramilitary solider was killed in the attack. It was not clear whether the soldier was already on the scene when the violence began or was part of the troops who arrived later.

The Pakistani military said in a statement that a rescue operation was underway and that most of the students and the staff had been evacuated. The school is located on the edge of a military cantonment in Peshawar, but the bulk of the students are civilian.

Later, one of the wounded students, Abdullah Jamal, said that he was with a group of 8th, 9th and 10th graders who were getting first-aid instructions and training with a team of Pakistani army medics when the violence began for real.

When the shooting started, Jamal, who was shot in the leg, said nobody knew what was going on in the first few seconds.

"Then I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet," he said, speaking from his hospital bed.

"All the children had bullet wounds. All the children were bleeding," Jamal added.

A TTP spokesman said the attacks were in retaliation for Pakistani army operations in the Northwest Fronteir Provinces that have killed dozens of tribesmen.

When the dust clears and the bodies are counted, this could end up being the deadliest attack on civilians since the Taliban took up arms against the Pakistani government.

This is the deadliest incident inside Pakistan since October 2007, when about 139 Pakistanis died and more than 250 others were wounded in an attack near a procession for exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, according to the University of Maryland's Global Terrorism Database.

The Afghanistan Taliban are no less bloodthirsty, and the Afghan government army is far less capable than the Pakistani military.  Now that combat operations by the U.S. and NATO have ended, it may be only a matter of time before we begin to see terror attacks like this in Afghanistan.