PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Pakistan is a nation filled with candles and grief following a Taliban assault on a school, an attack specifically planned to kill children.
It was in the middle of the school day in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar when a car bomb exploded behind the Army Public School.
With security guards distracted, at least six Taliban, armed with weapons and suicide bomb vests, climbed over the walls and began their killing rampage, shouting ‘god is great’ and ‘kill the children.’
By the time Pakistani forces gained control, the terrorists killed at least 132 children and nine staff members, including an office worker burned alive in front of students.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon talked about the attack before delivering remarks to the General Assembly. ‘No grievance can excuse such a horror. It is an act of horror and rank cowardice to attack defenseless children while they learn.’
The Army Public School and Degree College usually has about 1,100 students and staff in attendance, mostly children of army personnel.
The Taliban say the attack was revenge for the hundreds of tribesmen killed by the army along the border with Afghanistan.
Malala Yousafzai, this year`s Nobel Peace Prize recipient, was shot in the head by the Taliban as she promoted education for girls.
‘Now it is time that we unite and I call on the international community, leaders in Pakistan, all political parties and everyone, we should stand up together and fight against terrorism,’ she said. ‘And we should make sure that every child gets safe and quality education.”
Some believe the school attack was connected to her work.
Pakistan has become a nation weeping for its children, its streets filled with lamentations, and its leaders preparing for their own revenge that will only continue the unbroken cycle of violence.