PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Survivors are telling of the horror at a Pakistani school attacked today by Taliban militants. Officials say the attack left 141 people dead -- most of them schoolchildren.
One of the wounded students says he was with a group of other children who were getting first-aid instructions when the violence began. He says he "saw children falling down who were crying and screaming," and that he also fell -- later learning that he'd been shot in the leg.
Another student says when his classmates heard the shooting, they locked the door from the inside -- but gunmen blasted through the door and opened fire.
The attack began in the morning when the gunmen entered the school and started shooting at random. Army commandos quickly arrived at the scene and started exchanging fire with the gunmen. Students wearing green school uniforms could be seen fleeing the area on Pakistani television.
Outside the school, two loud booms were heard coming from the scene in the early afternoon, as Pakistani troops battled with the attackers. Armored personnel carriers were deployed around the school grounds, and a Pakistani military helicopter circled overhead.
As darkness fell on the area, officials said they had cleared the school of militants. They say there were seven attackers, and that all of them were killed.
016-c-18-(Rebecca Santana, AP correspondent)-"violence became real"-AP correspondent Rebecca Santana reports Taliban gunmen entered a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar and started shooting. (16 Dec 2014)
<<CUT *016 (12/16/14)££ 00:18 "violence became real"
100-r-16-(Sound of Amir Mateen (ah-MEER' mah'-TEEN'), wounded student, speaking Pashto, at Lady Reading Hospital emergency room)--Sound of wounded student Amir Mateen saying in Pashto from a hospital stretcher that the shooting began as he was finishing a paper in the chemistry lab. (16 Dec 2014)
<<CUT *100 (12/16/14)££ 00:16
099-r-05-(Sound of emergency vehicle siren, outside Lady Reading hospital emergency room)--Sound of an emergency vehicle siren as it brings a victim of the violence to a nearby hospital emergency room. (16 Dec 2014)
<<CUT *099 (12/16/14)££ 00:05
APPHOTO XMM104: A Pakistani girl who was injured in a Taliban attack in a school, is rushed to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months.(AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) (16 Dec 2014)
<<APPHOTO XMM104 (12/16/14)££