The Taliban slaughtered at least 140 people, mostly children aged 6 to 18, at a military school in Peshawar, Pakistan. Those who survived provided horrific details about the three-hour attack.
Salman, 16, was in the auditorium when four gunmen burst through the door. The men shouted “Allahu Akbar” and opened fire. Salman “felt a searing pain” in both legs when he decided to play dead.
“Then one of them shouted: ‘There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them’,” said Salman. “I folded my tie and pushed it into my mouth so that I wouldn’t scream. The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again. My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me. I felt as though it was death that was approaching me.”
He continued: “The men left after some time and I stayed there for a few minutes. Then I tried to get up but fell to the ground because of my wounds. When I crawled to the next room, it was horrible. I saw the dead body of our office assistant on fire. She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned.”
The Taliban “doused her with petrol and set alight” and forced the children to watch her burn alive. The Daily Mail said the terrorists targeted her “because she was married to a senior army officer.”
One terrorist blew himself up in a classroom with sixty children. Some victims were beheaded. The majority of victims were shot in the head and chest. A girl survived because she played dead just like Salman.
Mohammad Muneeb lost his 14-year-old brother Muhammad Shaheer in the same auditorium.
“Two guards were there, sitting on the desk at the front, when four people wearing black uniform ran in,” he said. “They just started firing. First they targeted the brigadier and his guards, the two guards were killed. The brigadier managed to get away safely and they started firing at the students. I saw my own brother die. He was shot in the throat.”
A school volunteer was also in the auditorium.
‘”I was working with the other organisations,” said the volunteer, who wished to remain anonymous. “What I saw was indescribable. I was in the auditorium when they burst in, it was 1030 when they broke in to the school. There was a function in the auditorium, they just opened fire on everyone. They just started firing and shooting violently with AK47s. There was around 200 children in the auditorium, all boys.”
The Taliban attacked the school, which educates boys and girls, because 17-year-old Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize. The terrorist group shot her in the head on a school bus because she wanted to receive an education. They also attacked the school in retaliation against the Pakistani armies attempt to quash the Taliban. The militants specifically picked out children with parents in the army.
However, the attack was not well received among terrorist groups. The Taliban in Afghanistan condemned the massacre because it is against their principle to murder innocent children.
“Killing innocent children is against the principals of Afghan Taliban and we condemned,” said Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. “Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their loved ones.”