With a bullet in his chest, Osama told his mother that he was fine

Published: December 16, 2014
Email
A man comforts his son, who was injured during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, December 16, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

A man comforts his son, who was injured during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, December 16, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: As bullets flew in the Army Public school in Peshawar on Tuesday, a grade eight student sat with a bullet in his chest and consoled his mother on the phone that he was all right, and unhurt.

The student, Osama, told The Express Tribune that his parents could not reach him, since they lived on Warsak Road, which had been blocked for all kinds of traffic. So he talked to them on the phone while avoiding detection from the militants.

“I told mama on the phone that I am safe and not hit, but I had received a bullet right in the chest.”

He added that his friends had been shot, some of them in the face.

Khalid Khan, 13, told Reuters the he and his class mates were attending a first aid lesson in the main hall when two clean-shaven armed men wearing white clothes and black jackets entered the room. “They opened fire at the students and then went out. The army doctor and soldiers managed to escape and we locked the doors from inside,” he said.

“But very soon they came, broke the doors and entered and again started firing.”

He said many of the students tried to hide under their desks but were shot anyway, adding that there were around 150 students in the hall around the time of the attack.

“They killed most of my class mates and then I didn’t know what happened as I was brought to the hospital,” said Khan, breaking down in sobs.

Others said the gunmen addressed each other in a language they could only recognise as either Arabic or Farsi – a possible testament to the Taliban’s network of hundreds of foreign fighters.

Another student, Jalal Ahmed, 15, could hardly speak, choking with tears, as Reuters approached him at one of the hospitals. “I am a biochemistry student and I was attending a lecture in our main hall. There are five doors in the hall. After some time we heard someone kicking the back doors. There were gunshots but our teacher told us to be quiet and calmed us down.

“Then the men came with big guns.” Ahmed started to cry. Standing next to his bed, his father, Mushtaq Ahmed, said: “He keeps screaming: ‘take me home, take me home, they will come back and kill me’.”

One nine-year-old boy, who asked not to be named because he was too afraid to be identified, said teachers shepherded his class out through a back door as soon as the shooting began.

“The teacher asked us to recite from the Quran quietly,” he said. “When we came out from the back door there was a crowd of parents who were crying. When I saw my father he was also crying.”

For previous eyewitness accounts read here and here.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (42)

  • Shakeel
    Dec 16, 2014 - 10:48PM

    It’s about time we keep religion out of politics.

    Recommend

  • Nilofer
    Dec 16, 2014 - 11:01PM

    What brave children! May Allah heal their bodies and minds after such trauma.

    Recommend

  • Zohra
    Dec 16, 2014 - 11:23PM

    @Shakeel:
    its really about time we understand that this is not Islam either. This is insanity.

    Recommend

  • ume
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:44AM

    My 5 years old niece was asking while watching the news about this massacre, that “will this happen to my school as well?”
    I tried to console her but from inside I left speechless.

    Recommend

  • depressed
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:46AM

    What did we miss? Female teachers sacrificed their lives (one was burnt alive in full view of kids). AND some adult males ran away leaving kids behind. I cant curse those cowards enough.
    Not very long ago, non-commissioned recruits very attacked and slaughtered. We have very short memory. Thats why we forgot to properly secure this school.

    Recommend

  • It's (still) Economy Stupid
    Dec 17, 2014 - 3:54AM

    Beslan of Pakistan, RIP

    Recommend

  • Zahra
    Dec 17, 2014 - 3:57AM

    These children will never be the same again. Their innocence has been robbed from them. They will be scared for a long time now. Allah SWT help us all.

    Recommend

  • dr vijay
    Dec 17, 2014 - 7:57AM

    May their Soul Rest in Peace Forever.
    God Bless them… Our Thoughts n Prayers r with their Family.

    The people who did this dastardly act are also Muslims…
    Muslims from pakistan…
    And ur Imran Khan is sympathetic towards the Taliban…

    Recommend

  • Fahad
    Dec 17, 2014 - 9:20AM

    It is an appeal from all TV Channels except for the news channels to stop showing music shows, morning shows, dances, dramas at least for 3 days at this highly traumatized and emotional juncture in the nations history…….. please act sober to mourn the death of the 132 children martyred.

    Recommend

  • Ishtiaq
    Dec 17, 2014 - 9:23AM

    Let this incident, however painful, bring us together in fight against the savages of all kinds and hues. Anyone who picks a gun against the State is a terrorist; there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists. We owe it to the blood of these children and thousands of other fallen heroes of Pakistan to eliminate terrorism from our country. That should be our focus, first and foremost.Recommend

  • angry citizen
    Dec 17, 2014 - 9:40AM

    These fanatics can hit other schools as well. They are real coward. But we should not forget that we are in state of war. we should prepare ourselves in a way that we should be able to retaliate such attacks. Our elders, youngsters, kids and our females should be given military training. We need to stand by our ARMY.We need not to save our country only but we need to save Islam too.

    Recommend

  • Dec 17, 2014 - 9:43AM

    I have never feared the ‘Refresh’ button of my browser as much as I did yesterday. The fear that when I refresh the page, the number of casualties would increase. None of the children were my children or my relatives… but it feels as if all of them were indeed my children.Recommend

  • Saifur Rahman
    Dec 17, 2014 - 10:28AM

    Today we are all Pakistanis. Just to let our Pakistanis brothers and sisters know that many schools in Canada will lower the flag at half mast on 19th December, the last day before Christmas vacation.Recommend

  • Dec 17, 2014 - 10:32AM

    I demand answer , who has done this , GOOD TALIBAN OR BAD TALIBAN . ????

    Recommend

  • nadeem
    Dec 17, 2014 - 10:37AM

    @dr vijay:
    no dear they were not Pakistanies and second IK never support TTP

    Recommend

  • Salman
    Dec 17, 2014 - 10:44AM

    @dr vijay:
    Paz do us a favour ask ur PM who is funding these animals.

    Recommend

  • Sonya
    Dec 17, 2014 - 11:05AM

    You brave brave boy…may Allah heal your body and mind…may Allah heal all those who survived…May Allah bless the children and teachers who were murdered by these barbarians with Janna….i do not have the stamina to get into religious and political debates…please be human…please show compassion…please they were innocent….Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Dec 17, 2014 - 11:30AM

    Now take the extreme measure….

    Recommend

  • Xman
    Dec 17, 2014 - 11:51AM

    @Salman : Just try to post any facts about funding here, your comments will be censored. Looks like same elements are funding ET. While Pakistanis lock horns with Indians, the real enemy kills our children. Having said that, PK nation, starting with the PM, should unite against their common enemy who is disguised as a friend. We are looking for enemies at the wrong side of the North.

    Recommend

  • Saad
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:04PM

    @Deepak
    Could you for once in your life try to act mature? The statement about good and bad taliban came from the Prime Minister’s adviser or security who shouldn’t have made this ridiculous statement to start off with as its not true. This is the reason why it was immediately corrected by the Chief of Army Staff that Talibans are Talibans (all cruel, bad) and we dont differentiate. Then the PM’s adviser also retracted and said his statement had been taken out of context. So please, grow up and show some maturity as we are in a moment of deep pain. We have been shattered from inside and have been touched by the support we have received from all around the world re-assuring us this cancer has to be eliminated, something we have long believed.
    I have had many Indian friends send me messages of support as well, so please don’t earn a bad name for your country by posting idiotic comments like this.
    Thank you.

    Recommend

  • Ganesh
    Dec 17, 2014 - 12:20PM

    The name “Osama” of the child suggests everything about how much Pakistan parents love terrorism…!!No wonder the youth are more cruel than animals,,,!!

    Recommend

  • Dec 17, 2014 - 1:27PM

    @Ganesh:
    Dear Ganesh, the name Osama doesnt represent Osama Bin Laden, its a historical name and frequently used in th ereligion. Dont mix the two. Later half of your comment was unnecessary.

    Recommend

  • FAZ
    Dec 17, 2014 - 1:30PM

    @Ganesh:
    Really..
    You wasted your time to come up here for this comment?

    Recommend

  • alam
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:16PM

    I have no words to say anything, but I salute all of these brave and innocent chidren and teachers. And I pray for them that may Allah bless them and give them best reward in both the world may Allah give patience to all parents and their love ones for this unbearable ,unpleasent, and unfortunate shock.
    At last if I am permitted to ask our govt and military that at what cost they can give security and peace to a common man and secure the future of our children. Please, please, please now we have nothing to lose any more, save our lives, save country.

    Recommend

  • Abk
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:51PM

    Oh God make it stop.

    Recommend

  • bahadur khan
    Dec 17, 2014 - 2:52PM

    the bravery of osama (peshawar) cannot be described in words. I once again ask all to remember the children killed by Ajmal kasab in Bombay VT station. One muslim child went to bring a glass of water for her blind father. On coming back the blind father said there is some pain and would like some water, He died drinking water,Recommend

  • Riaz
    Dec 17, 2014 - 4:01PM

    @Ganesh,

    Well, your name suggests of an elephant in Hindu Myth with a long trumpet. Isn’t it.

    Recommend

  • Waqas ur Rahman
    Dec 17, 2014 - 4:05PM

    @depressed: 3 male teachers and two female teachers died. The attack was on the male section of the school. Stop this non sense of male/female comparison. Pakistanis were killed is the bottom line.

    Recommend

  • alam
    Dec 17, 2014 - 5:06PM

    I have no words to say anything, but I salute all of these brave and innocent chidren and teachers. And I pray for them that may Allah bless them and give them best reward in both the world may Allah give patience to all parents and their love ones for this unbearable ,unpleasent, and unfortunate shock.
    At last if I am permitted to ask our govt and military that at what cost they can give security and peace to a common man and secure the future of our children. Please, please, please now we have nothing to lose any more, save our lives, save our country.

    Recommend

  • truthplease
    Dec 17, 2014 - 5:55PM

    @Riaz

    Your comment shows the exact reason why these barbarians do such massacres. You may believe it or not, but learn to respect the religion and faith of others. If it was preached well before there would have been no such incidents. Please grow up!

    Recommend

  • gems
    Dec 17, 2014 - 8:11PM

    **ganesh be more rediculous please.

    You must give respect to get it. Dont u dare say anything here. We r all very fragile right now. And agonised .

    Recommend

  • Rohima
    Dec 17, 2014 - 8:19PM

    @Ganesh:
    You are so daft.

    Recommend

  • Bahadurkhan
    Dec 17, 2014 - 9:06PM

    On indian tv and bbc we have seen that one student by name Dawood Ibrahim is the only survivor of class 9 . He did not come to school. All the other 20 students in his class are dead. Whole day he attended funeral of his classmates. Can he survive this ordeal being the only surviving student of class 9. Will he be able to carry on or change school and city ?

    Recommend

  • Genesis
    Dec 17, 2014 - 9:48PM

    @Ishtiaq:
    When one person Malala was attacked it was agianst one individual.then it is a whole school and if action is not taken now it will be whole nation and these savages have to be be controlled.

    Recommend

  • Janie
    Dec 17, 2014 - 10:21PM

    @Ganesh
    You and I know that murder is wrong. The youth are placed in a losing situation to begin with, if your parents or my parents had raised us and taught us to hate, then that’s what we would know to do. Please don’t criticize the victims or the children, criticize the system.
    People in power have made a joke out of all our religions and government. They have chosen the two institutions that hold the most power over us and have used it against us.
    I hope you have a lovely day.

    Recommend

  • Kashmiri_Pandit
    Dec 17, 2014 - 10:24PM

    @ Ganesh ..Very lousy comment!
    We should be the ones first to sympathise & empathise
    with ppl across the border at this moment of pain & agony.
    I understand this pain up so close, as Killing of Pandits in Kashmir was passed
    as jehad by some people.
    Nevertheless people in Pakistan have to be supported and their pain shared at
    this hour.
    My mother went numb as if her own kids life had been snuffed out. Human
    emotion knows no boundaries, no religions, no boundary of holy texts can limit this.
    It encompasses all n sundry.
    Time we all realize we are human beings first and we live in a civil society.

    @ Riaz, Your reference to Lord Ganesha does not offend me at all. I take it up in the spirit
    of a bad joke and nothing more.

    May the Almighty Allah or Ganesha or Jesus or Wahe Guru or Budhha or what ever name one believes in..bestow these little souls with eternal peace.

    Recommend

  • Pan Mat
    Dec 18, 2014 - 3:32AM

    Deepak & Ganesh,

    As an Indian, I am ashamed of your comments as it reflects lack of sensitivity. Ask your parents what a loss of child can possibly mean to them and you will get your answer.

    May our friends from Pakistan find peace and strength to overcome this gruesome barbaric act.

    Recommend

  • FuhGhetaBoutit
    Dec 18, 2014 - 8:34AM

    Heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families. Its not the time for politics. Rather introspection and a reality check. Clearly, this fight has crossed all boundaries of comprehension. Hopefully help is rendered to the families coping with this.

    Recommend

  • Ganesh
    Dec 18, 2014 - 10:42AM

    Truth hurts and bitter truth hurts bitterly.Empathy with the families…yes.But one should also open his eyes and see the cause.Then only we can avoid future tragedies.

    Recommend

  • S!D
    Dec 18, 2014 - 1:03PM

    @Ganesh:
    I hope your country has only one Modi

    Recommend

  • Milind
    Dec 18, 2014 - 7:45PM

    @Salman – “Paz do us a favour ask ur PM who is funding these animals.”

    Please grow up…and stop generalizing, making blanket statements and indulging in conspiracy theories… Had there been an iota of proof of our involvement, your army and establishment would have raised a huge stink in international forums, cause this is the time when sympathy is with you. Unfortunately for you there’s nothing conclusive.

    Recommend

  • sudhakar
    Dec 19, 2014 - 8:07AM

    Dear all, we being Indians are all pained and deeply feel the pain of the parents who lost their invaluable,we pray to god to weed out terrorism from every part of this world,coz we don’t find anyone who could do it.

    Recommend

More in K-P