It began like any other average morning in Pakistan’s Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar. Teachers ruffled through their notes and gave lectures. Students pored over their books, but suddenly, something happened. Reuters report:
In an instant, the peace was shattered – gunfire, smoke and dead bodies strewn across the school’s halls and corridors, with crazed militants rushing from room to room shooting randomly at pupils and adults.
At least 130 Pakistanis, most of them children, were killed in the broad daylight attack on the military-run school on Tuesday, an assault lauded by Taliban insurgents as revenge for the killings of their own relatives by the Pakistani army.
Reuters interviews with witnesses showed most victims were shot in the first hours of the assault when gunmen sprayed the premises with bullets in an indiscriminate massacre.
It was possible that some were also killed in the ensuing gunfight with Pakistani armed forces who stormed the building.
The school in Peshawar, a Pakistani city on the edge of the country’s turbulent tribal belt, is operated by the army. Although it enrols some civilian students, many of its pupils are children of army officials, the Taliban’s intended target.