A group of Pakistani Taliban (TTP) fighters killed at least 160 people, including over 130 children, in an attack on the Army Public School in the northern city of Peshawar today. It was the single deadliest attack by the TTP in their history.
Pakistan is reeling from the incident, in which TTP attackers dressed in the uniforms of the military’s Frontier Corps infiltrated the school and began taking hundreds of hostages. At the peak they are believed to have had over 400 hostages out of the school’s 1,100 students.
TTP spokesman Mohammed Khurrassani said the attack was revenge for the hundreds of tribesmen killed in recent Pakistani military offensives, saying that “we are facing such heavy nights in routine. Today, you must face the heavy night.”
The attack sparked harsh condemnations the world over, including from the Afghan Taliban, which declared the killing spree “un-Islamic” in its level of brutality.
Peshawar tends to be a prime target for TTP and other tribal factions to attack, as it is the largest city close to the tribal areas. The city is also fairly regularly surrounded by a tent city of refugees from assorted military offensives.
Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif declared a three day period of mourning over the massacre, and vowed the Pakistani military would continue attacks in the tribal areas to wipe out the TTP.