More than 120 people, most of them students, have been killed and 122 injured in a Taliban seizure of a military-run school in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, according to provincial authorities.
The death toll from a militant attack on an army-run school in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has risen to around 130 including 128 children, officials say.
The incident occurred on Tuesday when a group of pro-Taliban militants wearing military uniforms stormed the school in the city of Peshawar.
“The attack started with the gunmen entering the school in the morning hours and shooting at random,” said police officer Javed Khan.
There was also a huge blast inside the building. Hundreds of students and staff were present at the school when the attack began.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for the army’s continuing operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal area which borders Afghanistan.
The Pakistani army runs 148 schools nationwide for the children of military personnel and civilians.
In June, the Pakistani army launched a major offensive against militant hideouts in North Waziristan Agency after a deadly militant raid on Karachi Airport ended the government’s faltering peace talks with pro-Taliban militants.
Pakistan’s army claims it has killed over 1,600 militants so far, while losing 126 of its own soldiers. However, rights groups say a large number of civilians are among those killed in the Pakistani army operations.
This comes as Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence is known as the main supporter of the Taliban.