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Security personnel guard the gate of the school that came under a grenade -and-gun attack in Baldia Town on Saturday. -Online
Security personnel guard the gate of the school that came under a grenade -and-gun attack in Baldia Town on Saturday. -Online

KARACHI: Watched by their proud parents and teachers, boys and girls in their uniforms were all smiles as they one by one walked to the rostrum to receive their prizes from the principal of the school when it came under a grenade and gun attack on Saturday morning.

It was the annual day of the Nation Secondary School, housed in a two-story building constructed on a 180-square-yard plot with bare cement blocks in the predominantly Pakhtun locality called Ittehad Town.

The school’s name was written in Urdu on its outer wall over the Quaid-i-Azam’s three basic principles: unity, faith, discipline.

In a corner, Allama Iqbal’s famous couplet was written: ‘Zindagi ho meri parwanay ki soorat ya rub/ Ilm ki shama se ho mujh ko muhabbat ya rub.’

“Everything was going well. All the children were happy, as were their parents.

The kids were clapping when a blast was heard,” said Mohammad Hashim, 35, who had come there with his eight-year-old daughter Azra who had topped in grade-II.

He said pieces of bricks hit him and his daughter and caused minor injuries to them.

“We heard gunshots but did not know what had happened as all of us were trying to save our lives. Later, someone told me the school principal had been killed.”

Around 200 children were admitted to the school, which offered teaching from kindergarten to 10th grade with classes accommodated in 11 rooms made on the ground and first floors.

Many of the schoolchildren were accompanied by their parents to attend the annual function, in which trophies and certificates were to be awarded to students.

The school administration had organised the event in a fairly large classroom where large wooden benches — roughly polished — were there to accommodate children.

Most students attending the ceremony had passed their examination with flying colours.

The school had not invited every student because of limited space.

The classrooms’ walls were as bare and without plaster as the rest of the building.

A couple of dozens of trophies made of hard plastic and painted with golden colour on the main body and black on the bottom were seen kept on the floor of the room.

The floor was strewn with piles of pink files containing results of students’ examinations.

Some of the white plastic chairs were upended while stains of blood on some chairs gave bleak contrast with the whiteness of chairs.

Most of the wounded children were minor girls.

Some of whom had left their shoes there while some children books were also seen in a corner of a room.

Comments (10) Closed

`Tamilselvan Mar 31, 2013 02:35pm
Is this due to the teaching of Islam that terrorists are killing innocent children? For the rest of the world to believe it is not so we need the real followers to catch and punish these terrorists who are working against humanity or the "Land of Pure" will end up as a Cess pool
Md Imran Mar 31, 2013 05:17pm
The end is near..very very near..
M.Khan Mar 31, 2013 05:38pm
They should have instead blown away the school principal and the teachers. Who have totally forgot the great pakhtoon leaders and the great pakhtoon philosphers and poets, like Rehman Baba and Khushal Khan Khattak and Shershah soori .They should display the names and poetry of these great people, if not instead of Qadi-E-Azam and Iqbal, at least alongside whith their names and poetry on those walls. So these students of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa will remember them as great achievers and great philosphers and poets of this great nation. I also condemn the shooting. By the way, the school name is not in Urdu. "THE" and "Nation" both are english words. So, why speak a language thats so incomplete, And ignore your mother tounge that so sweet and complete.
Cyrus Howell Mar 31, 2013 11:36pm
It was inconceivable. Now it is no longer inconceivable.
BK Mar 31, 2013 11:55pm
Very sad. Events like these make my hope in my country and my people get weak.
Gohar Apr 01, 2013 05:18am
Should sent these terrorists back to India were they belong
atts Apr 01, 2013 06:08am
its sad to see your kind of sentiment........ I would probably have applauded the school for not only imparting knowledge but also for its effort for recognizing the achievers(something I am not doing myself)........ reg the names & poetry of the pakhtoons (there are many names in sindh region as well-where this school is located) but then again thats just surmising since I or you dont know the curriculum of the u? Its sad but we never rise above the provincial factor. Also Urdu is our native language, nothing can change that) but english is also the means of gaining knowledge, many nations have thrived b/c of linguistic abilities. I wish we could do something to protect this future of our country from this menace of attacks & differences
LOL Apr 01, 2013 06:15am
This vulture always is here when there is gloat over the tragedy and death.
rich Apr 01, 2013 06:28am
really gohar, what dreams u have, in india if a school is attcked like this, the person who carries out such atrocity will be hunted down whereever they may be, bec we have guts to do it, and not blame others and keep quite does pakistnis have guts do hunt these guys down and kill them or just talk big? i think u know the answer
rich Apr 01, 2013 06:30am