South Asia

16, including Fazlullah, planned massacre

Multitudes attend the funeral of students killed in the Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on Wednesday.

Multitudes attend the funeral of students killed in the Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on Wednesday.  

Attackers were instructed to kill the Army men before blowing themselves up

“We have killed all the children in the auditorium...What do we do now?” one of the Taliban attackers told his handler after shooting indiscriminately at the students in the main hall of the army-run school from where more than 100 bodies were recovered.

“Wait for the army people, kill them before blowing yourself,” his handler ordered, instructing the suicide attackers who were executing one of the most gruesome attacks against children in recent history.

Citing a security official, the Dawn said it was one of the last conversations between the attackers and their handler on Tuesday shortly before two remaining suicide bombers charged towards the commandos positioned just outside the side entrance of the Army Public School’s administration block.

“This and other conversations between the attackers and their handlers during the entire siege of seven and a half hours of the school form part of an intelligence dossier Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif shared with Afghan authorities” during his emergency visit on Wednesday, the paper said.

Pakistan has identified the attackers and it got the transcripts of the conversation between one of them named ‘Abuzar’, and his handler, ‘commander’ Umar, the paper said. “Umar Adizai, also known as Umar Naray and Umar Khalifa, is a senior militant from the Frontier Region Peshawar,” it said, adding that security officials believe he made the calls from Nazian district of Afghanistan’s Nangrahar province.

Officials said 16 top Taliban militants, including its chief Mullah Fazlullah, planned the Peshawar massacre that killed 148 people, including 132 students, in the worst terrorist attack in the history of Pakistan.

Citing officials, Dawn said the attackers entered the building by climbing its rear wall, using a ladder and cutting barbed wire. They then stormed the main auditorium where an instructor was giving a first-aid lesson to senior students. “Did the attackers have prior knowledge of the congregation in the main hall... This is one of the questions we are trying to find an answer to,” a security official said.

The militants first shot dead a watchman standing at the rear of the auditorium.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:05:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/16-including-fazlullah-planned-massacre/article6705199.ece

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