PESHAWAR: Most of the victim students of the Army Public School received bullets in the head and they were targeted from a point blank range by the attackers, according to the students and a minister.
The students said that the attackers scaled the boundary wall from the adjacent graveyard and started firing while moving towards the classrooms and auditorium. They said that a large number of students had gathered in the auditorium to get first aid training.
“Most of the students have received bullets in the head,” said provincial information minister Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani while talking to mediapersons at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH). He said that most of the bodies were received in the Combined Military Hospital and around 30 at the Lady Reading Hospital. Of the injured students, 25 were in critical condition, the minister said.
The parents, who usually wait outside the school to pick their children at the closing time, were seen crying . They were frantically searching for their children in the LRH and CMH as they wanted to know about safety or condition of their kids after the attack.
Besides the parents and relatives, the people visiting both the hospitals were also seen mourning on seeing the bodies and injured students in their blood-stained school uniform.
“I saw 17 bodies at the CMH and all of them had received bullets in the head,” said a journalist who was covering the event. He said that some of the bodies were mutilated.
Mohammad Zeeshan, a student of grade-7, told Dawn that he and many other students were getting first aid training in the school hall when they heard the gunfire. “Our trainer told us to lie down on the floor,” he said, adding that in the meantime the terrorists entered the hall.
Mr Zeeshan said that the terrorists started shooting the students in their heads at a close range. “They killed our class-fellows and then left us in the main hall. I received a bullet in my foot,” he said.
Another injured student said that terrorists were firing on the students in classrooms. “They also killed one of our teachers,” he said.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak told mediapersons at the LRH that the militants were wearing FC uniform. The attackers scaled the boundary wall from the adjacent graveyard, he said. He also announced three-day mourning in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The chief minister announced Rs500,000 for the killed students and Rs200, 000 for the injured.
Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq said on the occasion that it was the responsibility of the federal and provincial governments to provide security to the people. A government, which can’t provide security to its children has no right to rule, he said.
Awami National Party’s provincial president Ameer Haider Hoti said that children of the nation were killed brutally. He called for united stand by the political parties against militancy.
Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2014