Taliban gunmen stormed a military school in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 20 students and one soldier and wounding dozens of people, a hospital official said.
The Washington Post reported that hundreds of students and teachers were possibly taken hostage, according to Pakistani security and hospital officials.
The newspaper said as many as six militants scaled a wall and shot their way into the school, in northwestern city of Peshawar, military officials said.
Police officer Javed Khan told the Associated Press that the gunmen entered the school in the morning and shot at random. Army commandos arrived and exchanged fire with them, he said.
Jamil Shah, a spokesman for Lady Reading Hospital in the city, said the killed soldier was a member of the Pakistani paramilitary forces.
Student Abdullah Jamal, who was shot in the leg, said he was with a group of 8th, 9th and 10th graders who were getting first-aid instructions and training with Pakistani army medics when the attack began. For the first few seconds, nobody knew what was happening, he said.
“Then I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet,” he said from his hospital bed.
“All the children had bullet wounds. All the children were bleeding.”
Taliban spokesman Mohammed Khurasani claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to media, saying that six suicide bombers carried out the attack in revenge for the killings of Taliban members at the hands of Pakistani authorities, AP said.
Pakistan’s The Express Tribune newspaper said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and said “those behind the heinous act will not be spared.”
Peshawar has been the target of frequent militant attacks in the past.
Contributing: Associated Press
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