Taliban gunmen have killed 126 people, including at least 100 children, and are still holding many hostage in a school attack in Peshawar, Pakistan. Six men stormed the army-run school, according to military officials, and soldiers surrounded the building. Around 500 children and teachers were believed to be inside, with many students taken to local hospitals in a critical condition. At least 122 people have been injured in the siege. The army said it did not know how many teachers and children are still being held hostage by the militants. Police were struggling to hold back distraught parents trying to break past a cordon and get to the school when three loud explosions went off, police officials said.
We were standing outside the school and firing suddenly started and there was chaos everywhere and the screams of children and teachers.
Jamshed Khan, a school bus driver.
Four of the gunmen have been killed but the search continues for the remaining two. Video and photos showed other young children in their green uniforms being led away from the school by soldiers and an army helicopter flying overhead. Gunmen and suicide bombers targeted the school while an exam was taking place, said one teacher. The school is located on the edge of a military cantonment in Peshawar, but the majority of the students are civilian. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is travelling to the area, called the massacre a “national tragedy”. A Taliban spokesman told the Reuters news agency the attack was “revenge” for an army offensive against the group in North Waziristan.
Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions not to harm the children, but to target the army personnel.
Tehreek-e-Taliban spokesperson Muhammad Umar Khorasani