‘Watch as your loved ones die’: Survivors recall Pakistani school attack killing game by Taliban

‘Watch as your loved ones die’: Survivors recall Pakistani school attack killing game by Taliban

Survivors of school massacre recall sadistic games Taliban played with them, including being told they could be let go before they were shot

Taliban gunmen who stormed a school in northwest Pakistan toyed with captive students by suggesting some could be let go before lining them up and gunning them down in front of their classmates, according to a new account by survivors.

Militants rampaged through an army-run school in Peshawar and killed at least 141 people on Tuesday, almost all of them children. Pakistan is in mourning over the attack, the bloodiest in the nation’s history, which brought international condemnation and promises of a stern crackdown by political and military leaders.

Previous accounts by witnesses have indicated a pattern of indiscriminate firing on students with those fortunate enough to survive playing dead while the attackers moved on.

But Shahnawaz Khan, a 14-year-old who was being treated in a Peshawar hospital for two bullet wounds to his shoulder, said the attackers also engaged in sadistic games.

He said he and his class were in the middle of English grammar lecture when they heard gunshots, though their teacher said it was a first-aid class and the sound could be coming from a demonstration.

“But after a while the sounds of gunshots grew louder and we were hearing screams of students,” said Khan, the son of a former local government official.

“Our teacher opened the door and suddenly rushed back to the room and shouted get under the benches, he was trying to lock the door when someone pushed it from outside and he fell to the ground.

“Two men wearing army-like uniforms carrying AK-47s barged into the room and told us not to make any noise and do as they say.” Khan said the man asked for eight students who wish to be let go to raise their hands, with almost the entire class responding to the call by doing so.

“They took eight students of their choice and made them stand in front of the class near the blackboard facing the wall and told us to watch the students,” he continued, as one of gunmen, whom Khan described as burly, forced the teacher on to a chair.

“He told our teacher: ‘Watch as your loved ones die. Ours are also being killed in the same way,'” Kahn said. The gunmen then opened fire on the children who slumped to the ground, some dead and others writhing in agony.

Khan continued: “The other guy standing near the door said ‘I want eight more students now so whose turn is it to die first?’ Nobody raised their hands and he tried to grab students and take them in front of the class but the students were grabbing each other tightly refusing to go.”

As the students struggled, Khan said one gunman turned to the other and told him they should leave because they could hear troops arriving.

“Then they started spraying bullets on us indiscriminately and left, I got two bullets on my shoulder. I took my tie and tried to stop my bleeding but I fell unconscious,” said Khan, adding that he awoke on a hospital bed and did not know how many others had survived.

His account was confirmed by the class teacher, who also survived and was being treated in the same hospital for bullet wounds..

“I wanted to help them but I was helpless,” the 46-year-old said who did not wish to be named said as he wept.

TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani claimed the school attack as revenge for a military offensive against militant strongholds, saying they wanted the army to “feel the pain” they had felt at losing loved ones.

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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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