132 children massacred as Taliban storm army-run school in Pakistan

130+ children killed as Taliban storm army-run school in Pakistan

Carnage as Taliban storm Pakistan school killing 130 people, mostly children, and injuring at least as many more

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Taliban insurgents killed at least 130 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan on Tuesday in one of the country’s bloodiest attacks in recent years.

Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar and gunmen went from classroom to classroom, shooting children.

Distraught parents thronged the city’s Lady Reading Hospital in the wake of the attack, weeping uncontrollably as children’s bodies arrived, their school uniforms drenched in blood.

Watch: Taliban kill scores in attack on army-run school in Pakistan

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Irshadah Bibi, 40, whose 12-year-old son was among the dead, beat her face in grief, throwing herself against an ambulance.

“O God, why did you snatch away my son? What is the sin of my child and all these children?” she wept.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for a major military offensive in the region, saying militants had been ordered to shoot older students.

The attack began around 10.30am when a group of at least five insurgents, reportedly in military uniforms, entered the school.

A security official said hundreds of students and staff were in the school when the attack began, though according to the military the bulk of them have been evacuated.

Around five and a half hours after the attack began, the army’s chief spokesman General Asim Bajwa said the attackers had been cleared from all but one of the school’s buildings.

Five militants had been killed, Bajwa said.

‘National tragedy’

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described the attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.

“These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss,” he said.

Provincial information minister Mushtaq Ghani told reporters the death toll had reached 130, with a similar number wounded. The toll was confirmed by another provincial minister.

Volunteers rush an injured student to hospital. Photo: AP
Provincial chief minister Pervez Khattak said the attackers were wearing uniforms of the government paramilitary Frontier Corps.

Mudassar Abbas, a physics labouratory assistant at the school, said some students were celebrating at a party when the attack began.

“I saw six or seven people walking class-to-class and opening fire on children,” he said.

One student said soldiers came to rescue them during a lull in the firing.

“When we were coming out of the class we saw dead bodies of our friends lying in the corridors. They were bleeding. Some were shot three times, some four times,” the student said.

“The men entered the rooms one by one and started indiscriminate firing at the staff and students.”

‘Soft target’

The school on Peshawar’s Warsak Road is part of the Army Public Schools and Colleges System, which runs 146 schools nationwide for the children of military personnel and civilians. Its students range in age from around 10 to 18.

The schools educate the children of both officers and non-commissioned soldiers and army wives often teach in them.

Ambulances rush the injured from these scene to hospitals in Peshawar. Photo: Reuters
TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said the attack was carried out to avenge Taliban fighters and their families killed in the army’s offensive against militant strongholds in North Waziristan.

“We are doing this because we want them to feel the pain of how terrible it is when your loved ones are killed,” he said.

“We are taking this step so that their families should mourn as ours are mourning.”

The military has hailed the operation as a major success in disrupting the TTP’s insurgency, which has killed thousands of Pakistanis since it erupted in 2007.

More than 1,600 militants have been killed since the launch of Zarb-e-Azb in June.

Talat Masood, a retired general and security analyst, said the attack was intended to weaken the military’s resolve.

Relatives gather to identify bodies of school children at a hospital in Peshawar. Photo: EPA
“It is both tactical and strategic. The militants know they won’t be able to strike at the heart of the military, they don’t have the capacity because the army are prepared,” Masood told reporters.

“So they are going for soft targets. These attacks have a great psychological impact.”

The semi-autonomous tribal areas that border Afghanistan have for years been a hideout for Islamist militants of all stripes – including al-Qaeda and the homegrown TTP as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uygurs.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 December, 2014, 4:41pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 December, 2014, 7:43pm#Taliban   #jihadist

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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