Terrorizing World – "Enough is enough"

Time to ACT tough . Now !

Massacre in Peshawar

Posted by :) on December 17, 2014


Source : New Yorker

by- Basheer Peer

A soldier escorts students from the Army Public School in Peshawar during the attack by Taliban gunmen.A soldier escorts students from the Army Public School in Peshawar during the attack by Taliban gunmen

.CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY KHURAM PARVEZ/REUTERS

A soldier escorts students from the Army Public School in Peshawar during the attack by Taliban gunmen.
A soldier escorts students from the Army Public School in Peshawar during the attack by Taliban gunmen.
CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY KHURAM PARVEZ/REUTERS
In Peshawar, Tuesday began with the promise of a sunny winter day. Several hundred students between the ages of ten and eighteen arrived at the Army Public School. They wore their uniforms—green sweaters for girls, green blazers for boys—and tin badges printed with the school motto: “I shall rise and shine.” That morning, some of the students were in class, some were taking examinations, and some were in the school auditorium, where a visiting group of soldiers was training them in first aid.

Around 10 A.M., nine men dressed in the uniforms of Frontier Constabulary, a Pakistani paramilitary force, climbed over the school boundary wall. A school worker told Reuters that at first he mistook them for errant older students, but then he noticed the assault rifles slung around their bodies.

The terrorists entered the auditorium; Ebad, a tenth grader, told Radio Free Europe that he saw the men kill forty or fifty students there. They then entered one classroom after another, firing upon the students. “I was writing my examinations. Our teacher was overseeing it. We heard gunfire. We ducked and huddled together in a corner of the classroom,” a student told Samaa television network.

By noon, a state of siege had developed, as Pakistani troops cordoned off the school complex and began to enter it. Several reports claimed that about five hundred students were trapped inside the school at the time.

Shortly after noon, Muhammad Khorasani, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban, told the A.F.P. that the Taliban had sent the attackers. “They include target killers and suicide attackers. They have been ordered to shoot the older students but not the children,” Khorasani said. The Pakistan Taliban, a coalition of terrorist groups formed in 2007 and linked to Al Qaeda, was responsible for the shooting, in 2012, of the teen-ager Malala Yousafzai, who last month won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Taliban described this latest attack as retaliation for the Pakistan Army’s current campaign against them in North and South Waziristan.

The battle between the military and the terrorists continued for about eight hours. The terrorists had planted improvised explosive devices throughout the school, Major General Asim Bajwa, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Army who was tweeting the progress of the operation, said. During the gunfight, three of the terrorists executed suicide attacks, Reuters reported.

By early evening, the military had killed the other six attackers and cleared the school complex. A hundred and thirty-two students and nine staff members had been killed, and a hundred and twenty-one children were injured, Major General Bajwa told the press. Most of the survivors were rushed to Lady Reading Hospital, in Peshawar. Pakistani social media was filled with pleas for blood donations throughout the day, as doctors tried to save the lives of injured students.

Sami Yousafzai, a reporter for the Daily Beast, spoke to Jihad Yar Wazir, a Taliban commander, on the phone after the attack. Wazir sought to justify the massacre of young students by saying that their parents were soldiers in the Pakistan Army, which was “behind the massive killing of our kids and indiscriminate bombing in North and South Waziristan,” he said. (In fact, students at the Army Public School came from both civilian and military families.) “To hurt them at their safe haven and homes—such an attack is perfect revenge,” Wazir said.

One of the most vivid accounts of the attack came from a sixteen-year-old student who spoke to the A.F.P. at Lady Reading Hospital. He was in the school auditorium when the terrorists barged in and opened fire. The students ducked under their desks. He heard one of the attackers encouraging the others to shoot the students in their hiding places. “I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches,” the student said. He was shot in both his legs; he stuffed his school tie in his mouth to keep himself from screaming, and played dead. “The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies,” he said.

The brutality of the massacre was unprecedented even in Peshawar, where suicide attacks have been a constant for more than a decade. Last September, the Taliban killed more than eighty people, mostly Christians, in a suicide attack on a church there. “What happened today is beyond what we could imagine,” Raza Wazir, who lived and studied in Peshawar for several years, told me. “They killed students from point-blank range while they shouted, ‘Allahu Akbar.’ I never thought we would see such barbarism, such cruelty, even in Peshawar.”

Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, arrived in Peshawar shortly after the attack to supervise military operations there and declared three days of national mourning. “This is a national tragedy unleashed by savages. These were my kids,” Sharif said in a statement. “This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss.” The attack was also condemned by Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamist political group in Pakistan, on Twitter: “Attack on innocent children in the name of religion is not acceptable.”
Remarkably, the massacre was even condemned by Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, whom India considers the mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai. Saeed released a statement describing the murder of children as “cowardly behavior” and said that Islam “never taught us to kill innocent children and women even in war.”

Funerals began after sunset. As night fell over Peshawar, the Pakistani military launched ten airstrikes against the Taliban. “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,” Prime Minister Sharif told the press in Peshawar. “Such attacks are expected in the wake of a war and the country should not lose its strength.”

Some analysts believe that the massacre may force a final break between the Taliban and Pakistan’s military establishment, which has long distinguished between “good” and “bad” Taliban and found strategic uses for militant groups. “This black Tuesday is going to radically affect political will in Pakistan,” Amir Ali Khan, a veteran analyst with BBC Urdu, wrote. “After they have mourned the slain children, people will seek unambiguous answers from Pakistan’s rulers.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: