Army retaliates to Peshawar attack with strikes in Tirah

Published: December 17, 2014
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57 terrorists were killed in the aerial attacks. PHOTO: EXPRESS

57 terrorists were killed in the aerial attacks. PHOTO: EXPRESS

57 terrorists were killed in the aerial attacks. PHOTO: EXPRESS PHOTO: AFP The Army Public School stands destroyed in the wake of one of the most horrific attacks Pakistan has ever seen. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS  frontier corp personnel stand guard outside the main entrance of army-run school a day after it was attacked by militants in Peshawar on December 17, 2014. PHOTO: AFP A student cries on a man's shoulder, after he was rescued from the Army Public School that was attacked by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar, December 16, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: The nation begins three days of mourning on Wednesday for the 132 children and nine school staff killed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in the country’s deadliest ever terror attack, as the world unites in revulsion.

The 141 people were killed when insurgents stormed army-run school and systematically went from room to room, shooting children during an eight-hour killing spree.

3:20am

She was the principal of the Army Public School and Colleges System, Peshawar, since 2006 and had 20 years of teaching experience. Tahira Qazi was one of the pioneers of the school.

Read more here.

3:15am

Peshawarites mourn and the whole nation mourns with them. People across the country lit candles and staged vigils as parents bade final farewells to their children during funerals in and around Peshawar and in other cities.

Read the full story here.

11:48pm

In an unusual move on Wednesday, directors of International Monetary Fund unanimously expressed their condolences to the people of Pakistan over the loss of lives in the Peshawar terrorist attack.

Given the apolitical nature of the institution, the IMF usually does not comment on such developments.

read the full story here

11:45pm

Of the students killed in Peshawar on Tuesday, five were buried in their ancestral graveyards in Punjab on Wednesday.

read the full story here

11:00pm

Former president General Pervez Musharraf while talking to CNN Newday claimed he is reasonably sure that TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah was supported by the former Afghan regime of Hamid Karzai. He also accused Indian intelligence agency RAW of supporting TTP to carry out terror attacks in Pakistan

He further claimed that US intelligence must be aware of Fazlullah’s whereabouts. “Why don’t you help Pakistan?” Musharraf asked.

“The problem is while your terrorists have to be our terrorists, but somehow our terrorist you ignore that and you don’t take them to be your terrorists,” the former military ruler said.

The Tuesday attack on Army Public school in Peshawar was not an aberration, he added.

“It’s a continuation off of whatever has been happening over the last 15 years in the region, in Afghanistan, and in our tribal agencies,” Musharraf told New Day’s Chris Cuomo.

10:45pm

The attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, which took the lives of 141 people including 132 children, had been planned in the first week of December in an area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a police report available with The Express Tribune revealed.

Read the full story here.

10:16pm

In the wake of Peshawar school attack, army launched retaliatory air strikes in Tirah Valley, Khyber agency killing 57 terrorists.

20 strikes were carried out using dynamic targeting as Army chief General Raheel Sharif reviewed operations post Army Public School incident.

9:46pm

8:20pm

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcomes PTI chief Imran Khan’s decision to end his protests.

PM Nawaz says Imran’s announcement would strengthen the war against terrorism, and vows to address his apprehensions on 2013 elections, our correspondent Abdul Manan reports.

The premier further requests the PTI chairman to return to the National Assembly and to play his role according to the wishes of the people.

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8:00pm

Addressing his supporters, PTI chairman Imran Khan decides to call off his protests.

“Under the given circumstances, we have decided to call off our sit-in.”

“The need of the hour is unity,” he adds.

However, Imran clarifies he is not backing out and demands justice from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a probe into rigging allegations.

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7:30pm

On a lighter note, watch Nawaz’s quip at Imran’s statement:

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7:00pm

After returning from Kabul, army chief General Raheel Sharif met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to brief him on his meetings with the Afghan president and the ISAF commander, our correspondent Abdul Manan reports.

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6:50pm

A day after the attack, The Express Tribune correspondent Manzoor Ali describes the dark cloud that hangs over Peshawar.


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6:30pm

Haunting visuals of the aftermath of the school attack in Peshawar

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6:00pm

Army chief General Raheel Sharif has returned to the country after holding key meetings with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and ISAF commander in Kabul.

According to Inter Services Public Relations, the army chief held separate meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and ISAF commander General John F Campbell.

“Matters related to security situation along Pakistan-Afghan border region came under discussion. Vital elements of intelligence were shared with concerned authorities, with regard to Peshawar incident,” the statement said.

The Afghan president assured General Raheel Sharif that Afghan soil will not be allowed for terrorist activities against Pakistan and any signature found in this regard will be immediately eliminated.

The army chief also extended full support to the Afghan president in all spheres, including joint efforts against terrorists.

Further, the ISAF commander also assured of their complete support in eliminating terrorists in his areas of responsibility.

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5:55pm

The army’s main spokesperson General Asim Bajwa tells AFP the death toll from the attack had risen from 141 overnight to 148, including 132 students.

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5:50pm

Students in Karachi read the Quran and pray for the Peshawar school victims. PHOTO: AFP

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5:32pm

MQM chief Altaf Hussain while addressing party workers prays for those killed in Peshawar school attack, hoping for early recovery of the injured.

“There is need for national unity,” he says. “I ask PM, Imran and other political leaders to educate the public.”

“I have raised my voice about the Taliban threat numerous times,” adds the MQM chief.

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5:00pm

Addressing lawmakers at the Governor House in Peshawar, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flanked by Leader of the Opposition in the National Khursheed Shah and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan reads out decisions undertaken during the APC.

“We express deep grief over Peshawar tragedy and today’s conference has decided to draft an action against terrorists and act upon it immediately,” PM Nawaz says.

“We announce that there will be no discrimination between “good” and “bad” Taliban and have resolved to continue the war against terrorism till the last terrorist is eliminated.”

“We have all unanimously decided that a committee comprising of all parliamentary parties under Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar will prepare a plan of action which will be submitted to national leadership within seven days,” adds the PM.

Member of armed forces, intelligence and political parties will be a part of the committee, says PM Nawaz.

“Operation Zarb-e-Azb is continuing successfully but what we have decided today encompasses how to tackle terrorism from the whole country.”

Regarding lifting the ban on death penalty in terror cases, PM Nawaz says, “We have proposed terror cases should be expedited.”

“If terrorists are not punished, then who will be punished?” he questions.

Express News screen grab of PM Nawaz Sharif addressing the APC.

Responding to a question regarding PTI’s postponement of his countrywide shutdown, PM Nawaz says, “I am thankful to Imran Khan for attending this meeting and I invited him for tea.

“Dialogue can resolve all sorts of issues in democracy.”

Interrupting the premier’s speech, Imran says, “Our differences are not about our egos, it is about rigging.”

“The nation has to unite because the military cannot win this alone,” Imran says, adding, “Today, we all agreed that a national plan to eliminate terrorism should be prepared.”

Further, he says, from here he will go directly to his container where they will offer funeral prayers in absentia for the victims.

To this, Nawaz jokingly adds, “I have to visit injured children at the hospital otherwise I would have gone to the container with Imran.”

PM Nawaz can be seen with Imran Khan during the APC

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4:45pm

Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned what he called “inhuman terrorist acts” in three different countries this week, including Pakistan, and prayed that violent militants be converted to peace.

“I would like to pray together with you for the victims of the inhuman terrorist acts carried out in the past few days in Australia, Pakistan and Yemen,” he said to tens of thousands of people at the end of his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square.

“May God welcome the dead into his peace, comfort the families and convert the hearts of the violent ones, who do not even stop before children,” he said in a sombre voice, inviting  the crowd to join in a moment of silent prayer for the victims.

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4:30pm

A large number of people have gathered outside the Army Public School and are holding a candlelight vigil in lieu of the attack on innocent children, Express News reports.

Express News screengrab of the candlelight vigil held outside the school that was attacked by militants in Peshawar.

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4:03pm

The Pakistan and New Zealand cricket teams observe two minutes of silence prior to the fourth ODI, Express News reports.

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4:01pm

A funeral procession has left from every second street in Peshawar, with mourners stretched as far as the eye can see.

There is not a locality in the city which has not lost someone in yesterday’s dastardly attack on an army-run school which left 141 people, including 132 school children, dead.

Peshawar was a bruised city on Wednesday.

Read the whole story here.

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3:23pm

In related news, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced that the proceeds of the 4th One-Day International (ODI) between Pakistan and New Zealand will be donated to the families of the children who were martyred in Peshawar.

Further, the proceeds will also be used to rebuild the school.

Read the full story here.

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3:19pm

Meanwhile, Zulfikar Ahmed, a professor at the Army Public School who sustained injuries, recounts his harrowing experience during the attack on the school in Peshawar, our correspondent Umer Farooq reports.

“There were around 18-20 children taking an exam when we heard the firing,” the professor says.

“I asked them to lie down on the floor, after which three men broke the door and targeted me first.”

“After that, they started indiscriminate firing. And those who cried for help were shot a second time. The only survivors were me and two other students,” Ahmed says.

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2:59pm

Awami National Party (ANP) leader Asfandyar Wali says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan should work together for national interest.

Further, the PTI chairman extends his support for the government in their policy against terrorism.

“We stand with the government in their policies against terrorism,” he says.

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2:49pm

The staff room of the Army Public School that once was filled with teachers checking papers and sipping tea, now stands deserted, destroyed and ruthlessly wrecked after yesterday’s attack. PHOTO:MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

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2:39pm

Three victims of the Peshawar attack succumb to their injuries, taking the toll to 144, Express News reports.

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2:38pm

According to Express News, Prime Minister Nawaz will visit the Army Public School shortly.

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2:25pm

Indian school children hold posters condemning the attack by Taliban militants on school in Peshawar as they pray tribute to the slain children and staff, in Bangalore on December 17, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

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2:16pm

Funeral prayers in absentia were held for Peshawar victims at Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Express News reports.

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2:06pm

“Facilitators and sympathisers will also be considered terrorists and action will be taken against them,” Bajwa says while speaking to Express News.

“We have to unite and initiate an integrated mechanism against terrorists.”

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1:59pm

Army chief General Raheel Sharif rushed to Kabul on Wednesday to deliver a warning to Afghan authorities to take decisive action against sanctuaries of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or else Pakistan would go for ‘hot pursuit.’

General Raheel is traveling to the Afghan capital after security agencies found evidence that the Peshawar attack, which killed 141 people, including 132 children, was planned inside Afghanistan by the Mullah Fazlullah group.

Read full story here.

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1:46pm

DG ISPR Asim Bajwa guides the media through the school where the attack happened.  “All of us are ashamed.”

“We are deeply aggrieved and angered as a nation. This is a national tragedy. A sorrow we can never forget.”

“They just entered the hall and started killing students indiscriminately,” Bajwa adds.

“All of us are ashamed at this act; who could come and kill innocent children?” he questions.

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1:13pm

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Qamar Zaman Kaira, while speaking to the media, says, “APC has been called to support our premier.”

“There are a number of people within our ranks who have a soft corner for militants. A decision should be made in this APC in regard to who is with us, and who is with them [militants],” the PPP leader adds.

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1:04pm

Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari says government’s priority should be to eliminate terrorism rather than development; it is a matter of our survival, our correspondent Umer Farooq reports.

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1:03pm

According to an official at Lady Reading Hospital, 16 children are currently admitted at the hospital, our correspondent Umer Farooq reports.

Of the 16 children, three are in critical condition, and three other children have been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital.

Wounded rest in a hospital on December 17, 2014 after TTP gunmen attacked a school in Peshawar. PHOTO: AFP

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1:01pm

PM Nawaz says Army chief General Raheel Sharif has left for Kabul where he will meet his Afghan counterpart to discuss regional security.

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12:40am

“Yesterday’s incident is extremely tragic,” Nawaz says somberly as he begins his address to the APC.

“These sacrifices will not go wasted and we all want complete elimination of terrorism from Pakistan,” he says.

PM Nawaz adds Operation Zarb-e-Azb is progressing successfully.

“It is essential for us to never forget what these children went through yesterday and how they were shot mercilessly.”

Further, the premier says, “We have all seen the results of dialogue with the Taliban. We could not achieve anything through dialogue and then the Karachi airport was attacked.”

“We decided to conduct an operation against them in the light of these events and there was unanimity in support for the operation.”

“Afghanistan and we have decided we will not allow anyone to use our grounds to attack the other country.”

“We are committed to clear the region of terrorism,” he says, lauding Pakistan Army’s efforts and sacrifices.

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12:26pm

PM Nawaz lifts moratorium on capital punishment in terrorism-related cases, our correspondent Abdul Manan reports.

The PPP-led previous government had put the moratorium on execution of death penalties, owing to which dozens of terrorists are waiting for execution.

Earlier, the PML-N government was reluctant to abolish the moratorium due to pressure from Western countries which are against death penalties.

Read full story here.

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12:22pm

PM Nawaz on his way to Peshawar consulted his senior political aides regarding the parliamentary meeting, our correspondent Abdul Manan reports.

According to PM House, the meeting has been called to express national resolve against terrorism and its exponents.

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12:21pm

Peshawar stands shocked, the country stands shocked, the sporting fraternity stands shocked and so does national U16 judoka Dawood Ibrahim; alive only because someone got married on Monday night and Dawood’s alarm did not work in the morning.

Read full story here.

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12:21pm

Students in Karachi pray for the victims of Peshawar school following the attack there by militants. PHOTO: AFP

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12:19pm

Recounting the ordeal, a fifth grade student Muhammad Zia tells Express News, “When they fired at us, we knew it was Taliban. We started running and kept going. The Taliban were behind us but I was safe.”
“I saw six Taliban,” he adds.

Mourners carry the coffin of a victim of an attack by militants on an army-run school during a funeral ceremony in Peshawar on December 17, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

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12:18pm

Lok Sabha in India passes a resolution, condemning the Peshawar attack which killed 141, mostly school children, Express News reports.

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12:09pm

According to initial police report on the attack, terrorist had brought dry food items and were armed with sophisticated weapons.

The report says they entered the school from the backside of the building.

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12:07pm

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrives in Peshawar to head the APC convened in the wake of Peshawar attack.

“Time has arrived to finish those who killed my children,” the premier says as he joins the nation in mourning the loss of precious lives.

The premier reiterates that Zarb-e-Azb operation has caused great damage to the militant network.

“We will go and kill these terrorists in their hideouts,” PM Nawaz adds.

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11:35am

Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Sherpao arrive at the Governor House in Peshawar for the APC, Express News reports

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11:29am

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joins parliamentarians in observing two-minute silence in memory of victims of Peshawar school attack, NDTV reports.

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11:00am

A case has been filed against unidentified men for the attack under Anti-Terrorism Act, Express News reports. Sections of murder and attempted murder are added to the complaint.

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10:48am

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crew has refused to operate flights to Peshawar, Express News reports.

Additionally, the United Arab Emirates’ government has suspended all flights going to Peshawar.

However, there is no official confirmation as yet.

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10:31am

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan has left his residence in Bani Gala, Islamabad and is on his way to Peshawar to attend the APC, Express News reports.

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10:03am

Schools all over India observe a two-minute silence and hold special prayers to remember the young victims of the ghastly terror attack on Peshawar school, NDTV reports.

Indian schoolchildren pray during morning assembly at their school in Shimla on December 17, 2014, as they pay tribute to slain schoolchildren and staff after an attack on an army school in the restive city of Peshawar. PHOTO: AFP

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10:02am

“The militants know they won’t be able to strike at the heart of the military, they don’t have the capacity. So they are going for soft targets,” Talat Masood, a retired general and security analyst, told AFP.

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9:53am

Funeral prayer in absentia is offered for the victims at the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar, Express News reports.

Army chief Raheel Sharif, ISI chief Rizwan Akhtar, DG ISPR Asim Bajwa, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and K-P Governor Sardar Mehtab Abbasi can be seen in the front row.

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9:40am

President of the United States Barack Obama telephones Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, assuring him that the US stands with Pakistan in this time of grief, Express News reports.

Parents cry as they wait for information on their children at a hospital in Peshawar. PHOTO: AFP

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9:30am

A senior security official told AFP that authorities were investigating the nationality of the attackers since some were speaking in Arabic.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Xman
    Dec 17, 2014 - 11:56AM

    United against what? Have we even identified the real enemy? Time has come now to forget relating ourselves to any religious and political doctrine, and instead become Pakistanis first!

    Recommend

  • sgrr
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:09PM

    Untill the whole nation decided to face these killers, we will see the same of and on. The killers are among ourselves, which need to be taken to task by us, not by anyone else.

    Recommend

  • Paindoo
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:16PM

    May Almighty grant martyrs the highest place in Jannah and give us the courage to take revenge from their murderers. Ameen

    Recommend

  • Imran
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:33PM

    Time for execution !

    Recommend

  • dddd
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:34PM

    The Terrorists who attacked the school their bodies should not be given the respect of being buried they should be thrown in some field where their bodies should be left to rot.

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:38PM

    “PM Nawaz lifts moratorium on death penalty as nation mourns Peshawar victims”.. Great step.. I hope the executions start soon and the numbers be shared in public!

    Recommend

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