TTP militants storm Peshawar school, 131 killed

A hospital security guard helps a student injured in the shootout at a school under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar - AP

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants have entered an army-run school on Warsak road, taking students and teachers hostage.

  • Eight to ten terrorists entered the Army Public School

  • 131 killed, including at least 100 children; scores injured

  • Army chief vows terrorists will pay

  • Operation concluded with all six attackers dead


7:49pm - Shireen Mazari says 146 dead, 113 injured

Speaking to media representatives, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Shireen Mazari said that out of total 146 people killed in today’s tragic incident, nearly 140 killed are children. She said 113 people including children were injured in the attack also.

7:32pm - Obama denounces ‘odious’ school attack

President of the United States, Barack Obama has condemned the Taliban attack on Peshawar school, terming it “odious”.


7:13pm - Army hits back with 10 airstrikes in Khyber: ISPR

According to a tweet by DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa, Pakistan’s military on actionable intelligence has carried out several raids including 10 airstrikes in Khyber Agency today.


6:42pm - Army chief in Peshawar, vows to hit terrorists hard

Army chief General Raheel Sharif has reached Peshawar and vowed to continue the fight against the militants until they are completely eliminated from the country.

DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa posted on twitter that the tragic incident has saddened that COAS, but at the same time he has said that, “our resolve has taken new height. Will continue go after inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination”.

Gen Sharif said that, “this ghastly act cowardice of killing innocents clearly indicates they (militants) are not only enemies of Pakistan but enemies of humanity”.

“They have hit at the heart of the nation, but let me reiterate they can't in any way diminish the will of this great nation,” the army chief was quoted as saying by the DG ISPR.


6:32pm - Police say attack over, all militants dead

Peshawar police said that the bloody Taliban attack on Army Public School has ended, with all six attackers dead, AFP reported.

The assault on the school in Peshawar killed 131 people, most of them students, according to officials.


6:14pm - Another child succumbs to his wounds

According to DawnNews, another injured school kid has succumbed to his wounds at Leady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, raising the death toll to 131.


5:52pm - Punjab Assembly passes condemnation resolution

The provincial assembly in Punjab has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Taliban attack in Peshawar, expressing resolve to fight till the elimination of last terrorist.

The lawmakers also expressed solidarity with the armed forces in the resolution, saying the whole nation was standing shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan Army in the ongoing Operation Zarb-i-Azb.

TTP militants storm Peshawar school, 131 killed

Agencies | Zahir Shah Sherazi | Mateen Haider | Hassan Jahangiri | Abdul Hakim

Updated Dec 16, 2014 08:11pm

A hospital security guard helps a student injured in the shootout at a school under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar - AP

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants have entered an army-run school on Warsak road, taking students and teachers hostage.

  • Eight to ten terrorists entered the Army Public School

  • 131 killed, including at least 100 children; scores injured

  • Army chief vows terrorists will pay

  • Operation concluded with all six attackers dead


7:49pm - Shireen Mazari says 146 dead, 113 injured

Speaking to media representatives, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Shireen Mazari said that out of total 146 people killed in today’s tragic incident, nearly 140 killed are children. She said 113 people including children were injured in the attack also.


7:32pm - Obama denounces ‘odious’ school attack

President of the United States, Barack Obama has condemned the Taliban attack on Peshawar school, terming it “odious”.


7:13pm - Army hits back with 10 airstrikes in Khyber: ISPR

According to a tweet by DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa, Pakistan’s military on actionable intelligence has carried out several raids including 10 airstrikes in Khyber Agency today.


6:42pm - Army chief in Peshawar, vows to hit terrorists hard

Army chief General Raheel Sharif has reached Peshawar and vowed to continue the fight against the militants until they are completely eliminated from the country.

DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa posted on twitter that the tragic incident has saddened that COAS, but at the same time he has said that, “our resolve has taken new height. Will continue go after inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination”.

Gen Sharif said that, “this ghastly act cowardice of killing innocents clearly indicates they (militants) are not only enemies of Pakistan but enemies of humanity”.

“They have hit at the heart of the nation, but let me reiterate they can't in any way diminish the will of this great nation,” the army chief was quoted as saying by the DG ISPR.


6:32pm - Police say attack over, all militants dead

Peshawar police said that the bloody Taliban attack on Army Public School has ended, with all six attackers dead, AFP reported.

The assault on the school in Peshawar killed 131 people, most of them students, according to officials.


6:14pm - Another child succumbs to his wounds

According to DawnNews, another injured school kid has succumbed to his wounds at Leady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, raising the death toll to 131.


5:52pm - Punjab Assembly passes condemnation resolution

The provincial assembly in Punjab has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Taliban attack in Peshawar, expressing resolve to fight till the elimination of last terrorist.

The lawmakers also expressed solidarity with the armed forces in the resolution, saying the whole nation was standing shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan Army in the ongoing Operation Zarb-i-Azb.


5:35pm - 11 staff members rescued

11 more staff members of the Army Public School including 4 lady teachers and seven male staff have been rescued by SSG commandos, according to a tweet by DG ISPR General Asim Bajwa.


5:30pm -COAS reaches Peshawar

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has reached Peshawar. General Raheel Sharif cut his visit short in Quetta where he attended the passing out parade of Army soldiers.


5:20pm - Sixth terrorist killed: ISPR

The ISPR says a sixth terrorist has been killed in the the school's last block which is under clearance. Two more students and as many teachers rescued.

Terrorists have booby trapped the school premises using IEDs which is hampering the clearance process.


4:55pm - PM calls APC in Peshawar

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for an all parties conference in Peshawar tomorrow at 11:30 AM, in light of the devastating gun and bomb attack on the army-run school.

Leaders belonging to all parliamentary parties are expected to be in Peshawar tomorrow. The meeting will be held at the Governor House in Peshawar.

Information Minister Senator Parvaiz Rasheed and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar have been tasked by the PM to contact parliamentary leaders and request them to attend the meeting.


4:50pm - US ambassador condemns attack A man comforts his son at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar — Reuters

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson condemns the attack and issues a statement offering condolence to the families of the victims.

“The United States strongly condemns senseless and inhumane attacks on innocent students and educators, and stands in solidarity with the people of Pakistan, and all who fight the menace of terrorism,” a statement issued by the US Embassy in Islamabad says.

“Few have suffered more at the hands of terrorists and extremists than the people of Pakistan,” the statement says, adding that “that is why it remains essential for the United States and Pakistan to continue to work together to secure peace and stability in the region”.


4:40pm - 130 killed Army personnel shifting the school children on motorbike following the attack on Army Public School situated on Warsak Road. — INP

Army personnel shifting the school children on motorbike following the attack on Army Public School situated on Warsak Road. — INP

Provincial information minister Mushtaq Ghani tells AFP the death toll has reached 130, with a similar number wounded. The toll was confirmed by another provincial minister.


4:13 pm - Battle against terrorists will continue: PM Nawaz Relatives of a student comfort each other outside Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar — Reuters

A hospital security guard helps a student injured in the shootout at a school under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar - AP

PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials say the siege at an army-run school on Warsak road school is over, and authorities are now sweeping the area.

Three officials, on condition of anonymity, told AP the operation to clear the school has ended.

At least 131 people, most of them children, died when Taliban gunmen attacked the school in the morning.


END OF LIVE UPDATES

7:49pm - Shireen Mazari says 146 dead, 113 injured

Speaking to media representatives, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Shireen Mazari said that out of total 146 people killed in today’s tragic incident, nearly 140 killed are children. She said 113 people including children were injured in the attack also.


7:32pm - Obama denounces ‘odious’ school attack

President of the United States, Barack Obama has condemned the Taliban attack on Peshawar school, terming it “odious”.


7:13pm - Army hits back with 10 airstrikes in Khyber: ISPR

According to a tweet by DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa, Pakistan’s military on actionable intelligence has carried out several raids including 10 airstrikes in Khyber Agency today.


6:42pm - Army chief in Peshawar, vows to hit terrorists hard

Army chief General Raheel Sharif has reached Peshawar and vowed to continue the fight against the militants until they are completely eliminated from the country.

DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa posted on twitter that the tragic incident has saddened that COAS, but at the same time he has said that, “our resolve has taken new height. Will continue go after inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination”.

Gen Sharif said that, “this ghastly act cowardice of killing innocents clearly indicates they (militants) are not only enemies of Pakistan but enemies of humanity”.

“They have hit at the heart of the nation, but let me reiterate they can't in any way diminish the will of this great nation,” the army chief was quoted as saying by the DG ISPR.


6:32pm - Police say attack over, all militants dead

Peshawar police said that the bloody Taliban attack on Army Public School has ended, with all six attackers dead, AFP reported.

The assault on the school in Peshawar killed 131 people, most of them students, according to officials.


6:14pm - Another child succumbs to his wounds

According to DawnNews, another injured school kid has succumbed to his wounds at Leady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, raising the death toll to 131.


5:52pm - Punjab Assembly passes condemnation resolution

The provincial assembly in Punjab has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Taliban attack in Peshawar, expressing resolve to fight till the elimination of last terrorist.

The lawmakers also expressed solidarity with the armed forces in the resolution, saying the whole nation was standing shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan Army in the ongoing Operation Zarb-i-Azb.


5:35pm - 11 staff members rescued

11 more staff members of the Army Public School including 4 lady teachers and seven male staff have been rescued by SSG commandos, according to a tweet by DG ISPR General Asim Bajwa.


5:30pm -COAS reaches Peshawar

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has reached Peshawar. General Raheel Sharif cut his visit short in Quetta where he attended the passing out parade of Army soldiers.


5:20pm - Sixth terrorist killed: ISPR

The ISPR says a sixth terrorist has been killed in the the school's last block which is under clearance. Two more students and as many teachers rescued.

Terrorists have booby trapped the school premises using IEDs which is hampering the clearance process.


4:55pm - PM calls APC in Peshawar

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for an all parties conference in Peshawar tomorrow at 11:30 AM, in light of the devastating gun and bomb attack on the army-run school.

Leaders belonging to all parliamentary parties are expected to be in Peshawar tomorrow. The meeting will be held at the Governor House in Peshawar.

Information Minister Senator Parvaiz Rasheed and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar have been tasked by the PM to contact parliamentary leaders and request them to attend the meeting.


4:50pm - US ambassador condemns attack

A man comforts his son at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar — Reuters

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson condemns the attack and issues a statement offering condolence to the families of the victims.

“The United States strongly condemns senseless and inhumane attacks on innocent students and educators, and stands in solidarity with the people of Pakistan, and all who fight the menace of terrorism,” a statement issued by the US Embassy in Islamabad says.

“Few have suffered more at the hands of terrorists and extremists than the people of Pakistan,” the statement says, adding that “that is why it remains essential for the United States and Pakistan to continue to work together to secure peace and stability in the region”.


4:40pm - 130 killed

Army personnel shifting the school children on motorbike following the attack on Army Public School situated on Warsak Road. — INP

Provincial information minister Mushtaq Ghani tells AFP the death toll has reached 130, with a similar number wounded. The toll was confirmed by another provincial minister.


4:13 pm - Battle against terrorists will continue: PM Nawaz

Relatives of a student comfort each other outside Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar — Reuters

While speaking to media representatives after his arrival in Peshawar, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says that the Pakistan Army launched the Zarb-i-Azb operation and its blowback was being felt now.

"I feel that until and unless this country is cleansed from terrorism, this war and effort will not stop, no one should be doubtful of this. We have also spoken to Afghanistan about this and we will fight terrorism together."

"Such attacks are expected in the wake of a war and the country should not lose its strength," he says.


4:10pm - Fifth terrorist killed: Military

Military spokesperson Asim Bajwa says the fifth terrorist has been killed by security forces. Meanwhile, SSG forces have rescued two more student and two more staff.


4:05pm - Journalists, politicians condemn attack Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Pervez Khattak at Lady reading Hospital to visit victims of the militant attack on Army Public School — PPI

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Pervez Khattak at Lady reading Hospital to visit victims of the militant attack on Army Public School — PPI

Read: Another black day

Meanwhile, Peshawar city is at a stand-still, Markets and shops are being shut down whereas traffic jams are being reported at several points due to security cordons.


4:00pm - PM announces three-day mourning Men carry an injured school girl to a hospital following an attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. — AFP

Men carry an injured school girl to a hospital following an attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. — AFP

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announces a three-day countrywide mourning over the Peshawar attack.He makes the announcement after arriving in the provincial capital city where he was given a briefing over the situation at the Army Public School.

He makes the announcement after arriving in the provincial capital city where he was given a briefing over the situation at the Army Public School.

3:57pm - Narendra Modi offers condolences

Former Indian premier Manmohan Singh also condemns the attack.


3:55pm - Only one block left: ISPR update A student cries on a man's shoulder, after he was rescued from the Army Public School - Reuters

A student cries on a man's shoulder, after he was rescued from the Army Public School - Reuters

The ISPR says that of the four blocks that the militants were confined to, security forces have managed to clear three.

It is not clear how many militants have been killed or how many still remain in the building.

There are some reports that children have been taken hostage.


3:50pm - Terrorists confined: ISPR

DG ISPR Asim Bajwa on Twitter says that the terrorists have been pushed and confined to the "the last of four blocks of school".

He also says four terrorists have been killed so far."Search for remaining on, clearance underway," he says.


3:47pm - More loud blasts heard near school

 The feet of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school are tied together at a local hospital in Peshawar — AP

The feet of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school are tied together at a local hospital in Peshawar — AP

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister has announced three days mourning over this tragic incident.

Information Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mushtaq Ghani has said that security of all other educational institution has been enhanced.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has also announced three-day mourning over the Peshawar attack.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah announces three days of mourning across the province in the wake of the Peshawar attack.


3:10pm - Terrorists escape

Security sources say that some of the terrorists have managed to escape from the site after cutting barbed wires around the school premises.


3:05pm - President condemns Peshawar attack

President Mamnoon Hussain has strongly condemned the terror attack in Peshawar.

The president reiterates that such cowardly attacks cannot deter the resolve and morale of the nation, adding that the operation against militants would continue till the elimination of the last terrorist.


3:00pm - Children being held hostage: army

A security official tells Reuters some children are still being held hostage by Taliban gunman. 84 children are reported dead, with scores injured.

“The chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has received information from the army officials that children are still being held hostage,” Inayatullah Khan, the provincial minister for local government says.

A hall at the site had been cleared and efforts to clear the rest of the area were underway, he adds.

Hospitals in Peshawar are reporting a shortage of 'O negative' blood. An appeal has been made for donations.

The operation has been underway for five hours.


2:55pm - Children were celebrating when attackers struck: Eyewitness

Mudassar Abbas, a physics laboratory assistant at the school, tells AFP 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 says.


2:50pm - Provincial govt has failed: ANP

Ghulam Ahmed Bilour from ANP says the provincial govt has "completely failed".

"Before aspiring to become the PM, Imran Khan needs to take care of his province."


2:41 pm - Army Chief to reach Peshawar

Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa says that Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has cut his visit short in Quetta and is due to reach Peshawar.


2:34 pm - Government postpones talks with PTI due to Peshawar attack

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar telephones Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) vice president Shah Mehmood Qureshi and told him that for the time being,the dialogue process is being postponed," a credible source told Dawn.


2:11 pm - PM Nawaz leaves for Peshawar

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif leaves for Peshawar to supervise the ongoing operation against Taliban, dubbing it "a national tragedy".

"I have decided to proceed to Peshawar and I will supervise the operation my self," PM Nawaz Sharif said in a short statement before his departure to Peshawar.

"These are my children and it is my loss," the premier said.


2:10pm - 104 dead in attack: KP CM Security forces takes up positions on a road leading to the Army Public School — Reuters  Security forces takes up positions on a road leading to the Army Public School — Reuters

Security forces takes up positions on a road leading to the Army Public School — Reuters

Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak says 84 children have been killed in the attack.

"The terrorists entered the school wearing FC personnel uniform," he says.

He puts the total death toll at 104. He says 23 bodies have been taken to the LRH, with 60 in CMH.

2:05pm - Army trying to bring situation under control: KP Information Minister

Shah Farman, the KP Minister of Information says there are approximately 80-100 unconfirmed dead.

"The army is trying hard to bring the situation under control," he says. "The operation is currently underway."

"It is unfortunate that schoolchildren were targeted.We need the country to be united and we need justice," he adds.

Shah Farman says he is not aware of the Taliban's claim of responsibility for the attack.


2:00pm - Lady Reading Hospital officials speaks to reporters

An official from the LRH hospital confirms that 26 people have been killed. He says that the security official among the dead has not yet been identified.


1:55pm - 26 killed: Security officials

Twenty-six people have been killed, including two terrorists, security sources say. Hospital sources say the dead include 20 children.


1:50pm - JI Emir condemns attack Security forces drive on a road leading to the Army Public School that is under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar - Reuters

Security forces drive on a road leading to the Army Public School that is under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar - Reuters

Emir of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq condemns the incident and talking to DawnNews says the whole country stands with the families of the deceased.

He appeals to the government to make the security of children its first priority. "The attack is a message to the country and government; it should not be taken lightly," he says.

The official Twitter account of the JI tweeted: " Attack on innocent children in the name of religion is not acceptable."


1:45pm - Militants holed up in admin block: Minister

PTI MPA Shaukat Yousufzai says the main area of the school, including the junior section, has been cleared and that the operation has shifted to the administrative block where the terrorists are holed up.

He rejects reports that negotiations are being conducted with the attackers and says that talks are not possible when a full-blown operation is underway.

Yousufzai also says that the terrorists carried out a blast, possibly by a suicide bomber, in a portion of the school where an event was being held.


1:43pm - Terrorists have 'sophisticated weapons'

A student who was released says the attackers were carrying sophisticated automatic weapons.

He says militants opened indiscriminate fire as soon as they entered the school.


1:40pm - Terrorists did not enter through main gate: Brigadier

Responding to a question of whether the attack was a result of security lapse, Brigadier Mehmood Shah says there was a graveyard behind the school which is how militants entered the school.

He says militants could not have entered the school through its main gate.

He says security forces should be more vigilant but also underscored that people in the society should be careful and report suspicious people living in their locality to law enforcement agencies as soon as possible.


1:35pm - Unite, don't criticise: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi says that while the KP government is responsible, criticism is not a solution.

"Considering the fact that there is an operation being carried out against terrorists and they are being killed, you can expect a blow back and expect them to retaliate,"

"Obviously this was expected due to the operation... our army managed to break them."

"Instead of criticising, we all have to come together and figure out how to fight against this common enemy," he says.

1:30pm - Security official killed

Jamil Shah, a spokesman for Lady Reading Hospital, confirms to AP that the killed soldier was a member of the Pakistani paramilitary forces.


1:25pm - PM directs Interior Minister Nisar to assist KP in handling crisis

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif telephones Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and directs that his ministry assist KP in handling the crisis as effectively as possible.

The premier directs Nisar to coordinate the rescue operation in Peshawar with security forces to ensure all possible help that needs to be extended to them.

Prime Minister Sharif also directs Governor KP Sardar Mehtab Abbasi to ensure all possible assistance to security forces in the rescue operation.


The focal person for the Lady Reading Hospital confirms to Dawn that 21 are dead, including one man in an army uniform. One hospital official says the dead include 17 students.

While he gave no details on the cause of death, he says 45 are injured.

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