Taliban gunmen take 500 students hostage in Pakistan

2014-12-16 09:37
(AFP, HO, ISIL)

(AFP, HO, ISIL)

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Peshwar - Taliban militants have attacked an army-run school in restive north-west Pakistan on Tuesday, officials and militants say, with at least two students reportedly wounded.

Five or six militants wearing military uniforms have entered the Army Public School in the city of Peshawar, a source at the school told AFP.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the gunmen had been ordered to shoot older students but not children.

"Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions not to harm the children, but to target the army personnel," Taliban spokesperson Muhammad Umar Khorasani told Reuters.

The source in the school said two ninth grade students, aged around 14, were wounded in the firing.

"There has been an incident of firing at Army Public School in Peshawar. Troops have cordoned off the area and (are) searching for the militants," a senior military official told AFP.

The attack comes as the Pakistani military wages a major offensive against Taliban and other militants in the tribal area of North Waziristan.

Military officials said at least six armed men had entered the military-run Army Public School. About 500 students and teachers were believed to be inside.

"They include target killers and suicide attackers. They have been ordered to shoot the older students but not the children," he said.

A Reuters journalist at the scene could hear heavy gunfire from inside the school as soldiers surrounded it. Ambulances were transporting wounded children to hospital.

"We were standing outside the school and firing suddenly started and there was chaos everywhere and the screams of children and teachers," said Jamshed Khan, a school bus driver.

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Read more on:    taliban  |  pakistan  |  security

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