A Country Mourns


Pakistan buries it’s dead after brutal Taliban shooting in Peshawar

At least 132 children and nine staff have been killed after the school shooting in Peshawar’s Army Public School, grim images of the building now show pools of blood and pockmarked walls left by bullets.

Mass funerals and candle light vigils are being held for the victims, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also announced three days of mourning for the tragic event. More surprisingly he has lifted the moratorium on the death penalty for crimes of terrorism, many have argued that this is in response to the wide held belief that terror suspects escape punishment.

The Afghani Taliban have even voiced shock at the attack condemning the shooting of the school as “un-Islamic”. They have sent their condolences to the families of the victims.

Mr. Sahrif has held a meeting of parliamentary parties in Peshawar to discuss a response to this attack. Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif meanwhile travelled to the Afghan capital, Kabul, to discuss a security operation to fight against the Taliban.

On the day, seven Taliban attackers wearing bomb vests cut through wire fences to break into the school, they then began the attack in an auditorium where children were taking an exam. They then travelled from room to room attacking pupils and teachers in a siege that lasted eight hours according to survivors. Approximately 125 people were injured whilst hundreds of people were evacuated from the school, the seven attackers were killed.

The Pakistan Taliban have claimed the attack was in response to the army’s campaign against them, saying their families had suffered heavily hence the decision to target a school.

10th grade student, Mohammed Hilal, was shot three times in his arms and legs whilst in the auditorium. He revealed, “I think I passed out for a while. I thought I was dreaming. I wanted to move but felt paralysed. Then I came to and realised that actually two other boys had fallen on me. Both of them were dead.”

45-year-old Zulfiqar Ahmad, head of the mathematics department at the school, was shot four times during the attack. He claims he does not believe the 18 students in his class survived.

Mr. Sharif has promised to avenge the “national tragedy unleashed by savages”, teenage advocate Malala Yousafzai has also spoken against killings, condemning them as “atrocious and cowardly acts”.


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