Peshawar Massacre - Attacks, Casualties and Aftermath [ Current Affairs ]
Background: This heinous attack was carried out on 16th December 2014 by a terrorist militant group, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in North Waziristan. It is believed to be carried out by this terrorist organization basically for 2 reasons:
It is a reply to the offensive strategies carried out by the Pakistan Armed Forces in the North Waziristan region to clear out the terrorist organizations. There is an ongoing war type scenario in the region which has reportedly claimed thousands of lives.
The second reason to attack innocent school children is believed to be Malala Yousafzai winning the Nobel peace prize.
Attack-As it Happened: The attack began at around 10 am on 16th December when seven armed terrorists entered the school premises. They first blew up the vehicle they arrived in with the automated weapons they were carrying. The terrorists immediately moved towards the auditorium and started an open fire on the children there who had gathered to attend a function. According to the Director-General of the Inter Services Public Relations who tried to contact the terrorists, they had no intention of taking any hostages but wanted to kill as many possible. Within 15 minutes the SSG forces entered the school premises and started counter attacking the terrorists and preventing them from further killing anymore children and staff. One of the terrorist was shot down but the other 6 escaped to the administrative block and took hostages along with them. The SSG commandos surrounded the building and placed snipers at pinpoints. 3 of the 6 remaining terrorists were taken out by the snipers while the other 3 were killed by the SSG commandos on the field. After rescuing the children and clearing out the area an immediate search operation was started to clear out or defuse any IED’s planted by the terrorists.
Casualties: According to BBC news a total of 141 people were killed during this attack out of which 132 were children. A lot more were seriously injured and this incident inscribed a troubling scar to the minds of the young.
Aftermath: The entire world was in a state of shock with Army Chief Raheel Sharif vowing to hunt down each and every terrorist. He reported that a total of around 2100 terrorists were killed during operation “Zarb e Azb” and operation “Khyber One” and that he won’t rest until there is complete eradication of these terrorists. It was also good to see that Pakistan’s political leaders from different parties were united in sorrow. Many countries across the world mourned along with Pakistan for its loss. Indian PM Narendra Modi contacted the Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif and conveyed his grief and sorrow, also assuring him that India would help Pakistan in any way needed to fight against terrorism. Also after the attacks PM Nawaz Sharif signed documents lifting the moratorium on execution of terrorists. This was because it was believed that many a time terrorists are not brought to justice in Pakistan. Tehrik-e-Taliban spokesperson Muhammad Omar Khorasani declared that their group was responsible for carrying out this attack on this school because Army targets their families and that they wanted to inflict pain. Saddam Jan who was believed to be the one who had carried out this operation was killed along with 6 other high profile targets on 26 December 2014 by the Special Forces in Khyber Agency.
Retaliatory steps taken
- Retaliatory Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Air-Strikes.
- Targeted killings of Tehrik-e-Taliban terrorists.
- Increased communications with Afghanistan and ISAF.
Passing of the 21st amendment to the Pakistani constitution which helps military courts with speedy trials of the terrorists.
Recent arrests made in Afghanistan are a proof that special operations are carried out to wipe out these terrorist insurgencies.
Also government is helping the affected families by giving out money. 5000 USD is given to those families whose children died in the attack and 2000USD is given to those whose children were injured during the attack.
Author’s Insight: The Author feels it is a pity and a matter of great grief that these kinds of acts of terror are carried out by some broken souls in the name of God. I just hope that forces all around the world can make sure that these barbaric acts do not repeat themselves. These people with their wrong sense of faith should be severely punished and actions must be taken to completely uproot these terrorist organizations.
(The school was re-opened on 12th January 2015 by the government of Pakistan along with all the security measures.)
By: Satyajay Jethwa
- Published on: February 24, 2015