Peshawar live: Have to stand united to fight terrorists, says Imran Khan

5.46 pm: Have to stand united to fight terrorists, says Imran Khan

Imran Khan called for the people of Pakistan to stand united in these times of trouble.

Khan said, "This is not the times to score political points. We has a country have to stand united to defeat the terrorists."

5.45 pm: Want peace not just in Pak, but in Afghanistan as well, says Sharif

Calling for peace, Nawaz Sharif said that he wanted peace not only in Pakistan, but also in Afghanistan.

He said, "We won't allow Pakistan to be used to attack others," and added, "We will seek Afghanistan's help to flush out terrorists."

5.40 pm: Will fight terror till no terrorist is left in the country, says Sharif

Calling the Peshawar attack the worst in the history of Pakistan, Prime Minister Sharif said that he his grateful for the fact that all the parties in the country have united for fighting terrorism.

"We are people of democratic thoughts. We will address all our concerns together," Sharif said.

Promising strong actions, Sharif said, "We will fight terror till not even one terrorist is left in the country."

5.35 pm: No difference between good Taliban, bad Taliban, says Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a press conference announced a committee, comprising of members of all parties, to tackle the issue of terrorism in the country.

He said that the committee will come up with a plan within seven days.

Calling yesterday's attack in Peshawar an act of cowardice, Sharif said, "There is no difference between good Taliban and bad Taliban."

He says, "The new action plan will target terrorist not just inside Pakistan, but even in border areas around the country."

5:00 pm: Twin blasts reported in Khyber province near Peshawar

Headlines Today reported two bombs went off in Khyber province outside a girls college. CNN-IBN said that no injuries had been reported so far. Further details are awaited.

1:23 pm: No option except military ops against militants: Sharif

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan and Afghanistan would conduct joint operations against militants.

"Our talks with Afghanistan have been very constructive. We won't let our resources be used against one another. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have decided to conduct operation against terrorists," he told members of the press.

"The Security forces have done an excellent job in destroying terrorists' hideouts. But nothing can be more tragic for Pakistan than the way terrorists riddled innocent children with bullets," he said.

He also said that the moratorium on death penalty in terror cases would be ended. "We tried conducting talks with insurgents earlier, but that did not work. Now apart from a military operation, we have no other option left against the terrorists. It is our topmost priority to free Pakistan from terrorism," Sharif said in his address.

He also stressed the need for speedy trials to facilitate justice. "We are trying to come up with ways to conduct fast trials against hardened terrorists, criminals. Until speedy trials are conducted against captured terrorists, the war against terrorism cannot be won," he said.

Pakistan to end death penalty moratorium in terror cases: PM's office

Pakistan is to end its moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases, the prime minister's office announced Wednesday, a day after Taliban militants killed 141 people in an attack on a school.

The assault on the army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar, the deadliest terror attack in Pakistan's history, has caused widespread revulsion.-AFP

Updates for 17 December begin here

11.00 pm: PM Modi calls Sharif to express condolences

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif late on Tuesday to express his condolence on the ghastly terror attack in Peshawar this morning that took the lives of 132 children and 9 school staff members.

PM Modi had earlier in the day reacted to the attacks condemning them, 'dastardly'

PM Modi took to Twitter after calling Sharif. Here's what he said

10.31 pm: We stand with the people of Pakistan, says Barack Obama

President Barack Obama condemned the deadly Taliban raid on a Pakistani school on Tuesday and promised that the United States would stand by the country in its struggle against violent extremism.

"By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity," he said, after the attack on the army-run facility in Peshawar left at least 130 people dead.

"We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region."

9.25 pm: 132 children, 9 school staff died in Taliban attack, says Pakistan army

Pakistan Army confirms that the siege in Peshawar has ended. They say that 132 children and 9 school staff were killed in the attack.

Speaking of the attack, Major General Asim Bajwa said, "The terrorists wanted to kill as many people as possible. They did not take any hostages. They just fired indiscriminately."

Bajwa said, "The school has been cleared of terrorists and has been handed over to the school administration."

6.40 pm: Siege at Peshawar Army School  ends

After almost seven hours, the Pakistan Army ended its operation in the Army School of Peshawar, reports say.

Pakistan Army took control over the Army School after they gunned down the last terrorist. The gunbattle between the Army and the militants lasted for seven hours.

Latest statement from the Army also said that they have launched a massive offensive against the terrorists in the North Wazristan area of Pakistan.

In one of the deadliest attacks in recent times, the TTP killed 132 people, including more than 100 schoolchildren and injured more than 250.

 Peshawar live: Have to stand united to fight terrorists, says Imran Khan

An injured student after he was rescued from the army school in Peshawar.

The operation, which started at about 11 on Tuesday morning, sent shock waves across the world. World leaders condemned the attack.

Reports said that total of 15 blasts were heard inside the school campus. While one of the TTP gunmen blew himself up, five others were shot dead by the Pakistan Army.

Hospitals swarmed with those who were severely injured and distraught parents and family. The hospitals were not prepared for the sudden emergency and reports added that there was a crippling shortage of blood in the Lady Reading Hospital.

The Nawaz Sharif government also announced a three-day national mourning.

The TTP terrorists, reports said, came through a graveyard situated behind the school and indiscriminately fired at unarmed schoolchildren.

US Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement said that the United States condemns the horrific attack in Peshawar and the country extends full support to the Pakistan government.

"Threats locally are threats globally. We are committed with all our allies and we stand united against terrorism," Times Now quoted John Kerry as saying.

6.01 pm: Sixth and last terrorist killed by Pakistan army

Pakistan Army spokesperson Asim Bajwa confirmed that the sixth and the last terrorist has been killed in the final phase of assault by the army. Reports also confirmed that one of the terrorist blew himself up. The spokesperson added that two more children and two teachers have been rescued.

Bajwal added that planted IEDs were slowing down the speed of clearance during the operation.

The Tribune reported that the KP government had taken measures to thwart the Taliban's operation -- Zarb-e-Azb.  A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader speaking to The Tribune said that assault against the militants was tough because their movement was not restricted in the country. Shaukat Yousufzai did not blame the KP government but said that there was a serious lapse of security.

Meanwhile, Nobel Peace Award winner from Pakistan Malala Yousafzai, who was also shot by the TTP, reacted to the dastardly attack. The 17-year-old activist tweeted:

Headlines Today quoted Malala saying, "I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us.

President Pranab Mukherjee too tweeted his condolences for those who lost their lives in the attack and condemned the Taliban for the act.

Reports in Pakistan media quoted Bajwa and said that seven more male staff members and four female teachers were rescued from the siege. NDTV reported that the Pakistan Army rescued more than 45 children in the last one hour.

Television reports also said that the TTP gunmen used the bodies of the children as human shield against the Army assault.

4.26 pm: Those were my children, says Nawaz Sharif

As newspapers and channels reported an increase in the death toll, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement said, "It is a national tragedy. Those were my kids, my loss."

PM Sharif was in Peshawar and announced three days of national mourning after the attack. The Prime Minister, speaking to the media in Peshawar, said that the government and the Army together will act against terrorism in the country.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

According to the PM, the 'cowardly' attack has only strengthened their resolve to fight against terror in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Army, meanwhile, confirmed that they have begun the final assault on the terrorists who are holed up inside the school.

In a report, Times Now said that five terrorists have been gunned down. The reports came as the death toll went up and Pakistani officials confirmed that over 120 schoolchildren have been killed in the attack.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister's office confirmed to Pakistan media that the death toll has crossed 130. The Dawn reported that the Taliban militants gunned down over 130 Pakistanis which included over 100 schoolchildren.

According to a report in The Dawn, as many as 10 explosions were heard from inside the school campus. The latest report also added that of the four blocks that the militants were confined to, security forces have managed to clear three.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi joined in condemning the attack in Peshawar and said, "The people killing schoolchildren in Peshawar are enemies of humanity." He also said, "I beg the Taliban, take me and release these children."

4.11 pm: PM Modi tweets on Peshawar massacre, Imran Khan condemns the attack

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf's chief Imran Khan on Tuesday condemned the attack by Taliban on schoolchildren in Peshawar. Speaking to a Pakistani news channel, Khan pledged his party's support and said: "The whole of Pakistan stands with families of Peshawar victims. One cannot believe that people can stoop so low. I just want to tell the parents of all those students who lost their lives that we are with you."

Imran Khan announced that the 18 December countrywide protest against the Nawaz Sharif has been called off and instead the PTI chief plans to visit Peshawar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is in Jammu region for election campaigning expressed condolences with those killed in the Peshawar siege. The Prime Minister tweeted:

It was one of those moments when Twitterati united in solidarity. After reports surfaced that one of the hospitals where the injured were taken was low of blood supply, there were a string of tweets with phone numbers for the hospital.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, lyricist Javed Akhtar and actor Sonakshi Sinha among others tweeted about the Peshawar massacre:

3.56 pm: Three new explosions heard in school

Jaag TV reports that three new explosions have been heard from inside the army school premises. It also reports that gunfire has been heard immediately after the blasts.

Though some initial reports suggested that some of the militants might have fled, it is not clear whether the school premises doesn't have any terrorist element in it yet.

Nearly 500 people have been taken hostage by the terrorists who have been using the children as human shields.

3.44 pm: Some of the terrorists might have escaped, say reports

While there are no confirmed reports on the number of militants who entered the school premises, recent updates now suggest that some of them might have fled the school premises they were holding ransom. Dawn reports that sources in the security agencies have told them that the militants are suspected to have cut through barbed fences around the school and fled.

Express Tribune quotes Jammatud Dawa’s Hafiz Saeed as saying: "This is a huge incident and is a blatant act of terrorism."

3.21 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh condemns 'dastardly' attack

"This dastardly & inhuman attack exposes the real face of terrorism," Rajnath Singh said, condemning the attack on Pakistan. Syed Akbaruddin also tweeted his condolences for the country.

Syed Akbaruddin also tweeted his condolences to the country. He said, "Our hearts go out to the grief stricken families of the innocent children killed & injured in this barbaric attack in Peshawar."

PTI chief Imran Khan, whose party has a strong presence in Peshawar, said, "Shocked at attack on school in Peshawar. Strongly condemn this inhuman act of utter barbarism."

3.10 pm: 84 children confirmed dead in attack

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister said that 84 children have died till now in the two hospitals. The total death toll has risen to 104, which includes  staff and security personnel. While 26 people were reported to have died in the Lady Reading hospital, more than 60 people have been died in CM Hospital.

Chief minister Pervez Khattak confirmed the deaths, reported Dawn. Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif is reportedly headed to Peshawar to oversee the rescue operations himself. "I will supervise the operation myself. These are my children & it is my loss," he said.

2.33 pm: Militants using children as human shields to impede Pakistan Army, say govt officials

A Pakistan official, speaking to Express News, said that security agencies have confirmed that militants have been using the children held hostage as human shields to hold off the Army's progress.

Shah Farman, the KP minister of information, said that he feared at least 80-100 people dead inside the school premises, reports Dawn.

The paper also reports that Lady Reading Hospital has confirmed 26 deaths till now in the hospital itself. Reportedly, one of the suicide bombers blew himself up outside the school auditorium, sparking fears that many have been killed inside the school premises held hostage by the TTP militants.

"The army is trying hard to bring the situation under control. It is unfortunate that schoolchildren were targeted.We need the country to be united and we need justice," said Farman.

2.22 pm: Death toll climbs to 23 in Pakistan school attack

The death toll in the Pakistan school attack has swiftly risen to 23. According to Pakistan Today, 2o students and three teachers have reportedly died following the attack till now. An unknown number of people are feared dead inside the school campus which also witnessed a blast.

"The area around the school has been cordoned off. A crossfire between the security personnel and attackers in underway. One soldier has been martyred in the battle, confirmed KP minister Shehram Targai. According to Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), rescue operation is underway and an exchange of fire continues," reports Pakistan Today.

Meanwhile, Lady Reading hospital - where most of the injured victims have been admitted - has announced a crippling shortage of blood. Several people in Pakistan and abroad have taken to Twitter to direct people to the hospital for blood donation.





According to leading Pakistani daily Dawn, the militants entered the Army school through an unmanned graveyard situated right behind the school campus. The paper quoted Mehmood Shah as saying that the militants couldn't have entered the school premises through the front gate as there is strong security there. "He says security forces should be more vigilant but also underscored that people in the society should be careful and report suspicious people living in their locality to law enforcement agencies as soon as possible," the publication reports.

Also, some of the eyewitnesses said that the terrorists were carrying what looked like sophisticated automatic weapons.

1.56 pm: Attack in response to Army operations against militants?

BBC reports that Taliban spokespersons have told the agency that the strike follows the aggressive operations under taken by the Pakistan Army to rout militants from northwest Pakistan. "Hundreds of Taliban fighters are thought to have died in a recent military offensive in North Waziristan and the nearby Khyber area," reports BBC.

TTP told Reuters: "We want them to feel our pain. We target their children like they target ours."

According to a government spokesperson who spoke to ARY news the assailants entered the school wearing army fatigues.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), incidentally, were also behind the attack on Malala Yousafzai.

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is an alliance of militant groups formed in 2007 to unify groups fighting against the Pakistani military in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. According to the United States, National Counter Terrorism Centre, TTP leaders also hope to impose a strict interpretation of Quranic instruction throughout Pakistan and to expel Coalition troops from Afghanistan. TTP maintains close ties to senior al Qaeida leaders.

Baitullah Mahsud, the first TTP leader, was killed in an explosion on 5 August 2009 and was succeeded by Hakimullah Mehsud. The Pakistani military launched a major offensive in North Waziristan in June this year and say they have killed more than 1,100 militants so far, with 100 soldiers losing their lives in the operation.

Express News reports quotes security agency sources as saying several children have died in the blast inside the school.

1.41 pm: Won't spare perpetrators, says Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the guilty will not be spared. Express Tribune reports that Sharif has asked Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to closely monitor the situation and make sure that the children are escorted to safety.

The paper also reports that all the children who have been reported dead are all boys and a female teacher has died in the attack. Reports around the death toll has been conflicting so far with the health minister adding that a security personnel has been reported dead in one of the hospitals.

Four big hospitals in the city has been pressed into emergency action and Dunya TV reports that the biggest doctors in the city have been summoned by the government to be present at the said hospitals. However, as the siege continues and the number of injured climb, the channel reports that the hospitals are feeling a shortage of staff and space.

Hospital sources told Tribune that the ones being treated in the hospital have mostly sustained gun shot injuries in their arms and legs.

1.32 pm: Suicide bomber blows himself up inside school

According to reports on Times Now and NDTV, a suicide bomber has reportedly blown himself up inside the school a while back. The death toll of children, according to reports, has now risen to 17. Apart from seventeen children, one teacher has also been killed in the siege so far. Some other reports suggest that one Pakistan security personnel has also been killed in the attack.

Dunya News reports that high alert has been sounded in Pakistan and restrictions on travel has been imposed in the city.

Footage aired by Express News shows a huge fire inside the school compound, possibly following a blast. Loud gunshots have also been caught in the video footage.

1.17 pm: 'We saw bodies of classmates lying in corridors'

Dawn quotes eye-witnesses as saying that they had seen bodies of fellow classmates lying in the aisles of the school while fleeing. "Later, army personnel ushered us out. While we were being moved out, we saw bodies of our classmates lying in the corridors," a student told Dawn.

Though Pakistani officials have confirmed the death of 5 people, local media reports suggest that 11 students have been shot. NDTV reports that 11 children and one teacher have been killed till now.

Dawn reports that two children died while being moved to the hospital, while two died in the hospital.

Most of the injured have been admitted to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

1.14 pm: Taliban gunmen enter a school in Peshawar and kill students

Four students have reportedly been killed and at least 15 injured when an unknown number of terrorists stormed into Peshawar's Army School and took several students and teachers hostage, news channels reported this afternoon.

Representational image, Pakistan army officials.

Representational image, Pakistan army officials.

According to Geo News TV, the terrorists wore army fatigues and set vehicles outside the school on fire and then stormed into the school. Some children managed to escape. The channel reports that six suicide bombers are inside the school.

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

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

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

TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani told AFP there were six attackers.

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

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Updated Date: Dec 17, 2014 17:51:15 IST