Funerals Begin for 141 Slain in Taliban Attack on Pakistan School

DECEMBER 17, 2014

Funerals are being held for the victims of a Taliban attack on a Pakistani military-run high school on Tuesday that left at least 141 people dead, most of them young students.

Wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives, seven Taliban assailants attacked the school in the north-western city of Peshawar, shooting students and teachers.

Pakistani officials said 132 of the dead were students about 12 to 16 years old. Nine school staff members also died in the siege, which lasted more than eight hours.

A provincial official said more than 120 others were wounded in the assault. It is believed that more than 100 of the wounded were children.

Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, a Pakistan army spokesman, said security forces killed the attackers and saved hundreds of lives in a swift operation after the bloodshed began.

Heavily armed Taliban gunmen entered from the rear of the school "by cutting and crossing the fence," Bajwa said.

"...They entered the auditorium, where all the children were going through an exam, and they started shooting them indiscriminately and they caused the maximum damage in the first 10 minutes of their attack."

Army commandos responded, killing all seven terrorists, Bajwa said.

The attack on the school, in a highly secured part of Peshawar city, began about 10 a.m. local time and ended around 6.30 p.m. (1330 GMT), police said, according to the French news agency AFP.

Photo captions: A Taliban attack on a Pakistani military-run high school on Tuesday that left at least 141 people dead, most of them young students.