#AceNewsServices – UPDATE: PAKISTAN(Peshawar) Dec.16 – At least 141 people, mostly children, have been slaughtered in an enormous Taliban massacre at a military school in Pakistan. Survivors described horrific scenes at and outside the school as the gunmen went from class to class after their friends.

“The gunmen shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is the greatest] before opening fire,” one student recalled to AFP from his hospital bed at Lady Reading Hospital, where scores of students had been taken.
“Then one of them shouted: ‘There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them,’”Khan told the agency. He added that the insurgents were “looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies.”

“I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches,” he said. He recalled being shot twice – above both knees: “My body was shivering. I saw death so close.”

The death toll is expected to rise. While the number of wounded remains ambiguous, the figure of 114 had been given by the Health Secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Mustaq Jadoon, to AFP, before the army announced that the official death toll had risen to 141 from an initial 130.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the attack as a “senseless act of unspeakable brutality” on Twitter.

‘We thought they were kids playing… then we saw guns’

A worker at the school said that the siege began at around 10:00 am local time, when he saw six people climbing the walls of the school. While AP stated that “about half a dozen gunmen” were involved in the attack, after nine hours of fighting, a military source told Reuters that “the operation is complete” and that all nine militants had died in the counter-operation.

“We thought it must be the children playing some game… But then we saw a lot of firearms with them,” Mudassir Awan told Reuters.

“As the firing started our teacher asked us to bend down and we went to a corner of the class. After one hour when firing reduced, an army officer came and rescued us,” A-level student Muhammad Naeem told RT’s video agency Ruptly.

“As we came out we saw on the way in corridors our friends were lying dead on ground hit by bullets – some with three, some with four bullets, they were bleeding,” he added.

Survivors recalled the evacuation process despite the confusion. One student from the seventh grade recalled being moved into the auditorium en mass for safety.

“Seven to eight people attacked us, then an army soldier came to us and he asked principal and teachers to take the children out of the compound from the back gate. There were thousands students in college, they were moved to auditorium,” a student of class seven, Arshad Khan, told Ruptly video agency.

One injured student was with a group of eighth to tenth graders when the violence snowballed. Nobody knew what was happening initially, he told AP.

“Then I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet,” Jamal, who was shot in the leg, said from his hospital bed.

Hoards of ambulances and armed soldiers manned the area surrounding the school in the northwestern city of Peshawar, and helicopters hovered ahead, as India attempted to come to terms with the horrors of the nine hours.

Pakistani soldiers cordon off the site of an attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. (AFP Photo)

Pakistani soldiers cordon off the site of an attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. (AFP Photo)

‘God, why did you take my son?’

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” one parent, Tahir Ali, cried as he went to the hospital to collect the body of his 14-year-old son.

“My son was my dream. My dream has been killed,” he told AP.

Devastation gripped parents who lost their children, some of them preteens.
“O God, why did you snatch away my son?”
a mother of a 12-year-old boy killed in the attack told AFP.

Relatives of a student, who was injured during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, comfort each other outside Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, December 16, 2014. (Reuters/Fayaz Aziz)

Relatives of a student, who was injured during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, comfort each other outside Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, December 16, 2014. (Reuters/Fayaz Aziz)

Several high profile figures have stepped forwards to condemn the brutality of the incident. 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he was on his way to Peshawar: “I can’t stay back in Islamabad. This is a national tragedy unleashed by savages. These were my kids.”
The attack was reportedly in revenge for a major army operation against militants in tribal areas.

“We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani. “We want them to feel the pain.”
Six gunmen have been killed following the attack, Pakistani military told the agency.

Nobel Prize Winner, Malala Yousafzai, added her voice to those condemning the siege. “I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us,” she said on Tuesday.

Sources: AFP – RT – Reuters – Twitter – AP


#children, #killed, #slaughtered


#AceNewsServices – TURKEY – Nov.13 – Twelve Turkish nationalists detained after an attack on US sailors in Istanbul were released on Thursday, Reuters said.

Video Link:  

The group, which comprised members of the nationalist Turkish Youth Union, assaulted the three sailors on a crowded street in Istanbul on Wednesday, shouting “Yankee go home.”

“We want you to get lost and we are using our right to protest” and “Down with US Imperialism,” the group was heard saying.

Other members of the youth movement tried to force sacks on the heads of the Americans in an apparent tip of the hat to a 2003 incident in which US forces arrested Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq and subjected them to similar treatment.

In a statement published in Turkish and translated by the New York Times, the union said Wednesday that the protest was staged in dedication to our martyrs and to the millions of innocent people slaughtered by the imperialism in the Middle East.”

Screenshot from YouTube user TGBİnternet Bürosu

Screenshot from YouTube user TGBİnternet Bürosu

“We find it ugly and disturbing. We condemn that attack,” US military spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters in Washington.

“We have enjoyed a strong relationship with Turkey for many years,” the Navy said in a statement. “Turkish ports have long been very popular destinations for US Navy ships, and our sailors have enjoyed the warm hospitality that has traditionally been extended.”

Over Twitter, the US Embassy in Turkey said they found the incident “appalling,” adding, “While we respect the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression, we condemn today’s attack in Istanbul, and have no doubt that the vast majority of Turks would join us in rejecting an action that so disrespects Turkey’s reputation for hospitality.”

Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, the director of the German Marshall Fundof the United States office in Ankara, described the youth brigade to the Times as a “fringe group” and said that while he believes the protest to be marginal, it nevertheless “will appeal to the wider public because it resonates with the national pride of Turks.” According to the German Marshall Fund, a nonpartisan American-based think tank, 64 percent of Turks hold an unfavourable opinion of the US.

“It will be interesting to see what the Turkish government’s reaction is to this incident and whether they condemn it,” Turkish expert and Foreign Policy Interrupted co-founder Elmira Bayrasli added to the Times. “If they skirt around the issue I fear that more attacks like this will be repeated.”

NTV television reported that a dozen people were subsequently arrested over their alleged involvement. Meanwhile, US Vice President Joe Biden remains slated to arrive in Istanbul late next week for meetings with officials representing Turkey, a NATO ally, which AFP said is intended to ease tensions between the countries as the Pentagon further pursues efforts to gain Turkish support in the multi-national campaign against the so-called Islamic State group in neighboring Iraq and Syria. Last month, Biden called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after alleging during a speech that Istanbul has been complicit in the Islamic State’s campaign by letting fighters use its border to enter Syria.

“If Biden told these words, then he will be history to me. I never uttered such remarks, Erdogan fired back. “He should apologize. I’m saying this clearly. And we won’t accept slender, indirect explanations. Later, Biden “apologized for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL (IS, ISIS) or other violent extremists in Syria,” the White House explained.

The nationalists faced possible charges of insult, injury and breaching laws on public protests before being released from court by the prosecutor, the Dogan news agency said.


#innocents, #martyrs, #protest, #slaughtered