PESHAWAR: Gunmen stormed an army-run school in a heavily-guarded area of Peshawar, killing 132 schoolchildren and 9 staffers, while injuring many more, said military spokesman.
Medics feared that the death toll may rise as many of the injured were serious.
Police official said the terrorists attacked central auditorium of the school where a function was underway.
The students are aging between 10 to 18 years.
According to eyewitnesses, who were rescued by security forces, six terrorists wearing uniform of security forces barged into the school building and opened indiscriminate fire after taking many children and teachers hostage.
“They were wearing black uniforms and carrying rifles in their hands… They opened fire on students and left many of them dead and injured,” Ahsan Mukhtar, a student spoke to media persons after being rescued. He said he saw four bodies of his colleagues.
Mudassir Abbas, a lab assistant rescued from the school, said he saw many injured inside the school after gunfire.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister Mushtaq Ghani announced that all academia in Peshawar would remain closed for three days.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his strong resolve to root out the menace of terrorism from the country following the incident.
Addressing a press conference along with Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in Peshawar, Prime Minister Sharif said that that war against terrorists could continue till the elimination of last militant.
“Operation Zarb-e-Azb will continue,” he said.
“The attack is an act of cowardice and brutality,” he said, saying that his children were targeted in Peshawar.
He said that democracy is at a stage where it would emerge as winner. The prime minister urged the nation to stand up against the terrorists.
Meanwhile, General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), said that terrorists have hit at the “heart of the nation”.
“Let me reiterate they can’t in any way diminish the will of this great nation,” the army chief said.
He said that the nation’s resolve has taken new height following the recent incident.
General Sharif said that the ghastly act of cowardice of killing innocents clearly indicates that the terrorists are not only enemies of Pakistan but also the enemies of humanity.
“We will continue to go after inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination,” the COAS added. -Samaa