, PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Dec 16 – Taliban insurgents killed at least 130 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan on Tuesday in one of the country’s bloodiest attacks in recent years.
Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar and gunmen went from classroom to classroom, shooting children.
Distraught parents thronged the city’s Lady Reading Hospital in the wake of the attack, weeping uncontrollably as children’s bodies arrived, their school uniforms drenched in blood.
Irshadah Bibi, 40, whose 12-year-old son was among the dead, beat her face in grief, throwing herself against an ambulance. READ: Taliban storm Pakistan school, kill 95.
“O God, why did you snatch away my son? What is the sin of my child and all these children?” she wept.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for a major military offensive in the region, saying militants had been ordered to shoot older students.
The attack began around 10.30am (0530 GMT) when a group of at least five insurgents, reportedly in military uniforms, entered the school.
A security official told AFP that hundreds of students and staff were in the school when the attack began, though according to the military the bulk of them have been evacuated.
Around five and a half hours after the attack began, the army’s chief spokesman General Asim Bajwa said the attackers had been cleared from all but one of the school’s buildings.
Five militants had been killed, Bajwa said.