The daily horror

The Taliban killing as many children as it can at an army-run school in Peshawar.

Scores of survivors are being treated in hospitals as frantic parents search for news of their children.

The attack is the deadliest ever by the Taliban in Pakistan.

There has been chaos outside hospital units to which casualties were taken, the BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil reports from Peshawar.

The BBC’s live update page says 132 children and 9 staff members were killed.

Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid tells the BBC the Taliban raid was “a revenge attack, as many children in the school are sons and daughters of army officers”. Mr Rashid adds it was also “an attempt to unify the Taliban, who are currently divided”.

Both BBC stories have pictures of crowds outside the hospital, and they’re weirdly almost all male (I could see two women in one photo and that’s all). Maybe that’s because it’s a military hospital – but lordy you would think the anguished mothers would be there along with the anguished fathers. (The Beeb says the school teaches girls and boys.)

The militants made no demands; they started killing children as soon as they entered the school, the Pakistani army is quoted as saying by Reuters.

No kidding. That’s what they do.


  1. Decker says

    and they’re weirdly almost all male (I could see two women in one photo and that’s all).

    You rarely see any women present at tragedies like this. It’s a cultural thing, I suppose. But you know, where you WILL see a lot of Pakistani women in public ( sorta) are in the rural areas. The farm fields are absolutely chock full of women, some of them pregnant, bent over and toiling away from sun-up to sun-down

  2. Decker says

    Yes, of course you see frantic mothers at tragedies like this, but just not in some areas of Pakistan. Women just don’t have a high public profile.

    However, when you travel through rural Pakistan, you’ll see many of them doing back breaking agricultural work.

  3. quixote says

    This was the first news I saw this morning.

    After my first thought of horror, the next was, “Will this finally be enough to turn their own mothers against the Taliban?” Because that’s when these cults finally end. Anyway, I hope. I guess it’s just desperation to find some glint of good in the awfulness.

  4. Crimson Clupeidae says

    I rad elsewhere that this school was mainly for the children of the local police (or military, or something similar), and it was a targeted attack in that sense.

    Brave Taliban soldiers, taking on those heavily armed children…. *puke*

  5. lorn says

    The Taliban attacked the school, in part, because it was associated with the military and families in power as a response to Pakistani army attacks into the tribal areas. I suspect that this isn’t going to back off the army. Sounds to me that it is going to intensify army attacks into the tribal areas. Talking to a Pakistani friend he said thought that pretty much every branch and major unit in the military had or knew someone with kids in that school. In effect the Taliban just made it personal.

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