Peshawar in mourning after massacre of school children by Taliban

by Tayyabal Riaz

 

Following barbaric attacks on an army run school, today Peshawar wakes up to bury 141 of its residents, of which 132 are school children

 

Gunmen cloaked in white, heavily armed, brutally attacked as they opened fire in classrooms, just after midday, local time, aimlessly killing teachers and students alike. Some survived by playing dead amongst the dead bodies of their friends, carrying with them the horrific image of their fellows shot in the chest, legs and left mortally wounded.

Spokesperson for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attacks as he confirmed the attack to be an act of retaliation to military actions against the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan. “We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani said. “We want them to feel the pain.”

In the wake of the attack, the severely injured, as well as the dead crowd hospitals. Parents make funeral arrangements, with rose garlands and heavy hearts, as the whole country mourns. The PM has called for a three-day mourning and Pakistani flags over the world rest at half-mast. Political leaders and governments across the globe have condemned the attack, calling it ‘heinous’, ‘an un-Islamic attack’ and ‘a dark day for humanity’.

Malala Yousefzai, nobel peace prize winner, belonging to the same region of Pakistan, condemns the attacks and supports the government’s actions in countering such issues, “I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters – but we will never be defeated.”

As Peshawar recovers from the shocks and lays its fallen to rest, the country mourns with vigils and prayers offered. “The smallest of coffins are the heaviest to carry,” the father of one Pakistan’s young victims said.

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