Following yesterday’s hostage situation in Sydney, today brings an even worse hostage situation in Pakistan involving school children and the Taliban…a group that, despite all the U.S. drone bombings and full out 13 year war in Afghanistan, is still capable of wreaking havoc on innocent lives.
So far, the news wires report that at least twenty people have been killed, including 17 children and up to 40 have been wounded in the attack on a Pakistani school where 500 students and teachers are being held hostage in the city of Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan.
Via Sputnik News:
“Twenty people have been killed. Among them 17 are children, one is a male teacher and one a female teacher,” Shahram Khan Tarakai, the health minister for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, told AFP.
It remains unclear who is the 20th fatality
A senior police official confirmed the death toll and warned it was likely to rise, saying a huge blast had occurred inside the school.
“Many are in the operation theatre now in critical condition, undergoing treatment,” Reuters quotes hospital official Ejaz Khan as saying.
Pakistan’s military headquarters said a rescue operation was under way and a number of staff and students had been evacuated.
A senior military official said troops had surrounded the school and television footage showed them taking up positions
Military officials said at least six armed men had entered the military-run Army Public School.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the gunmen had been ordered to shoot older students but not children, says AFP.
“This attack is a response to Zarb-e-Azab [operation] and the killing of Taliban fighters and harassing their families,”AFP quotes TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani as saying.
Zarb-e-Azb is a joint military offensive of the Pakistani security forces against militant groups, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.