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Death toll of Pakistan's Peshawar school attack rises to 132

Editor: Bai Yang 丨Xinhua

12-16-2014 21:08 BJT

Full coverage: Pakistan's Peshawar School Attack

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of a terror attack on a school in Peshawar of Pakistan's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has risen to 132, local media reported on Tuesday evening.
 
Local media quoting unidentified sources said that the killed include students, school teachers, school staff and security personnel and at least 245 others were injured in the attack, and the vast majority of the killed and injured are students aged below 18.
 
In addition, an unknown number of students and staff of the school are still being held hostage by the attackers, said local media, adding that this has created a problem for the rescue operation as the security forces have to save as many lives as possible during the operation.
 
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has flown to Peshawar to direct the rescue operation and announced a three-day national mourning.
 
So far six militants have been killed in the exchange of fire with the security forces who have rounded them up inside the school shortly after the attack was reported, said army sources, adding that the remaining militants have been cornered in the fourth block of the school.
 
Three blocks of the school have been cleared, said the sources, adding that a large contingent of security forces have been called in to fight against the attackers who are armed with heavy weapons and suicide jackets.
 
Helicopters, tanks, heavy cranes and armored personnel carriers have also been employed in the operation, the sources said.
 
Commandos of Special Services Group of Pakistan army who are conducting the operation have rescued eight students who were made hostage by the militants, the reports said.
 
Police and security forces have also launched a house-to-house search operation in the nearby residential areas.
 
The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
 
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif have also cut short a visit to the country's southwestern province of Balochistan and headed for Peshawar.
 
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain has issued a statement strongly condemning the attack and said that such attacks cannot deter the resolve and morale of the Pakistani nation to fight against terrorism.
 
The attack reportedly took place at about 10:30 a.m. local time when a group of eight to 10 Taliban militants wearing army uniforms launched the attack at the army-run public school in the downtown area of Peshawar. The school offers education mainly to children aged from nine to 16 from the army families.

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