Just as darkness settled on the city of Peshawar in Pakistan this afternoon, the Pakistani army reported that they had finally cleared a school of Taliban militants who had massacred over a hundred innocent children in an attack which has been described as a national tragedy by Pakistan’s President.
According to first person accounts of the calamity, it began this morning when half a dozen Taliban fighters – if you can call people who murder children a word which implies bravery and strength – entered a school and began randomly shooting pupils and their teachers.
Although the Pakistani army was quick to respond to the attack, and engaged with the Taliban very soon after it began, unfortunately they couldn’t do enough to stem the attack quickly enough. Children as young as 14 years old (and perhaps younger) were shot and killed and at least 130 others have died; figures are still unclear. What is clear is that these children weren’t – and shouldn’t – have expected the vicious and merciless nature of these terrorists’ attack.
Claiming responsibility for the attacks, Taliban spokesman Mohammed Khurasani claimed the attack was revenge for the killings of Taliban members at the hands of Pakistani authorities. But this is not revenge, these children were completely innocent in any attack. What the Taliban have done today is not just prove that their fight is indiscriminate and furious, the anger of these individuals led them to slaughter children in the name of their cause. How can anyone possibly think that any cause is worth killing so many children we may never understand. Although it is true that Pakistan’s army recently launched a military operation against militants in nearby North Waziristan – and were fearing retribution – until now there has been nothing.
In an attack which highlights the weakness of security in Pakistan’s schools – Schoolgirl turned civil rights activist Malala Yousef was once shot in Pakistan and sparked outrage across the world – the Taliban have simply shown their dwindling power. The Pakistani army has been making progress in its fight against insurgents recently and this attack is indicative of the desperation of the organisation’s attempts to continue its fight. Like an injured beast it lashes out at friend and foe, innocent and guilty.
In a statement Malala herself has said: “I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters, but we will never be defeated.” Perhaps soon, the dwindling power of this Terrorist organisation will be no more, but make no mistake, although Malala has said that we will never be defeated, it is clear that the Taliban isn’t going down without a fight. Let us hope that they pick on someone their own size, rather than cowardly massacring innocent children.
Header Image Rights; Iqbal Khalid