Hat Tip: BB
Of all the charities out there, this is the one I promote. Operation Underground Railroad rescues children from slavery and the men and women who do it put their lives on the line to do so. Your dollars can save the life of a child and give them the chance to have a life they would be denied otherwise. Read just one of their moving rescue stories here… This year, I ask nothing of any of you for this blog… but I do ask that if you can at all, that you give to OUR. For those who cannot fight for themselves, we must fight for them any way each of us can.
Hat Tip: BB
By: Richard Cameron
One of the main issues that commenced my fallout with George W. Bush, was the incredible statement he made that “Islam is a religion of peace”. From that moment forward, I began to see the fiction of the ‘War On Terror’ in an entirely new light. There could be no war on terror if the ideology behind the terrorists was being redefined by the leader of the free world as something other than the vicious, hateful and divisive creed that it is.
It was my first, but not last clue that regards whatever war we were conducting – defeating terror and opposing the foundational beliefs inspiring it, wasn’t the object of our mission. If the Koran and the other related commentaries of Islam were dictating attacks on infidels and we weren’t at war with it, just what were we at war with?
Later, our government stripped away all pretense of such a purpose, by mothballing the expression ‘War on Terror’ altogether.
It’s interesting to hear apologists for Islam claim that hateful behavior of Muslims is not mainstream, but only from radical groups that have “hijacked the faith”. As a rationale for dismissing the likelihood that Islam contains within itself something inherently toxic, progressives will argue that the actions of certain individuals bombing abortion clinics, demonstrate that there are extremists in all religions.
The obvious problem with that argument is that if persons representing themselves as Christians committed even a tiny fraction of the number of barbaric acts that Muslims perpetrate, we would be inundated with reports of them in the mass media.
Islamic hate crimes are the statistical norm among the followers of that religion, whereas, sectarian crimes by Christians, Buddhists, Jews and Hindus are anomalies by comparison.
From Africa to Syria to Pakistan and Egypt and throughout the Islamic world, the conditions of fear and terror that Christians and other religious minorities live under on an hour to hour basis, defy imagination.
One can only read the testimonies of the survivors to begin to conceive of the atrocities committed by Islam’s faithful – and a full accounting of the thousands of such attacks would fill several volumes. What’s more, these would be in addition to the well publicized activities of the Islamic State.
According to one estimate, a Christian is martyred every five minutes. Of 50 countries where Christians are under attack, 42 have either a Muslim majority or have sizable Muslim populations. That would indicate to any reasonable observer that there is something in the Islamic ‘water’.
Most people have heard the accounts of school children in Nigeria abducted by the hundreds by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. Garnering less publicity are the distressing accounts of ethnic cleansing being perpetrated by the group.
It was reported in August by Voice of the Martyrs that Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram beheaded a six-year-old boy on June 1 because he was a Christian. The attack occurred in Attagara, Gwoza district, Borno State – a predominately Christian community. Over 100 militants descended upon the village, slaughtering men, women, and children.
In this incident, a man named Sawaltha Wandala witnessed children being murdered on his way to church service. A six-year-old boy had been slashed and thrown into a ditch, but was alive. Wandala picked him up to carry him to a hospital in Cameroon, when he was confronted by a gang of terrorists. They took the child from Wandala, cut his head off then beat 55 year old Wandala and struck him over the head with a large stone, leaving him to die.
During another attack on Attagara, John Yakubu returned to his family’s home to gather their animals so his family wouldn’t starve in the refugee camp in Cameroon. He was spotted by Boko Haram members and taken captive.
“We know you’re John,” they said to him, according to Voice of the Martyrs. “You must convert to Islam or else you will die a painful death.” When Yakuba refused to denounce Christ, they tied his arms and legs to a tree, and hacked his hands with a knife.
“Can you become a Muslim now?” “You can kill my body, but not my soul,” Yakubu cried out. The men continued to cut his feet and back with a machete and knife to torture him. “We will show you.” Yakuba’s head was slashed, and an axe was driven into his knee, reaching the bone. He lost consciousness and was left tied to the tree for three days before someone found him, after which he was taken to the hospital in a coma.
In another incident, a teacher of a school for boys in Northeast Nigeria described the group’s killing of 29 young men. The militants locked the door of one dormitory where male students were sleeping and then set it ablaze, slitting the throats of those who tried to clamber out of windows and gunning down those who ran away, said teacher Adamu Garba.
Rape of Christian women and girls is widespread in Muslim countries such as Pakistan – one of America’s counterfeit ‘allies’. The attorney of one victim – a 12 year old, who was raped by a gang of Muslim men, describes the government’s collusion with Islamic criminals:
“In Pakistan rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and marginalized families. It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable. Rarely rapists are punished. Furthermore, rape victims face terrible difficulties; they do not receive adequate medical treatment for sexual assault. Many girls are traumatized and become depressed and in need of psychological assistance.”
No one, whether it be a Catholic nun, a small child, a baby, a young girl not yet in puberty, or the elderly – are spared the ferocity of hate and spiteful treatment from these denizens of Hell. Their targets are not limited to just those of the Christian faith. Jews, Hindus, Yazidis and others are subject to their wrath as well.
Kirsten Powers of USA Today recounts an interview with Human rights lawyer Nina Shea, in which Shea described the horror in Mosul . “(The Islamic State) took the Christians’ houses, took the cars they were driving to leave. They took all their money.
One old woman had her life savings of $40,000, and she said, ‘Can I please have 100 dollars?’, and they said no. They took wedding rings off fingers, chopping off fingers if they couldn’t get the ring off. “We now have 5,000 destitute, homeless people with no future,” Shea said. “This is a crime against humanity.”
The men of faith who have stood in the eye of the Islamic storm have a message to us in the West. Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younnan, head of the Syrian Catholic Church in Lebanon, describes the campaign against Christians as religious cleansing:
“I want to tell American Christians to stand up, wake up and no longer be a silent majority. American-elected representatives need to stand up for their principles on which the U.S. has been founded: the defense of religious freedom … and respect for human rights.”
The exiled Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, warned the West that its turn will come. Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona, writes:
Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.
Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.
You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.
And Archbishop Nona’s warning has unfolded as reality in the U.K, America and in Europe, wherever followers of ‘The Prophet’ have migrated. Breitbart reports that school health services in the small Swedish city of Norrköping have found 60 cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) among schoolgirls since March, with evidence of mutilation found in all 30 girls in one class, 28 of the most severe form.
And in England, Muslim men have committed thousands of rapes of children which the public authorities have taken great pains to ignore and cover up. The courts have so made themselves instruments of permissiveness that the U.K.’s military is forbidden to even raise their voice to militants during questioning.
In a follow up report, we will examine how American foreign policy has made religious minorities, particularly in the Middle East, more vulnerable to the savagery of the ‘religion of peace’.
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Communists are ecstatic. “The Cuban Five Are Free” is a statement from the U.S. support network for the Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. for various crimes, including participating in a murder conspiracy.
Obama essentially released the three remaining Cuban spies in exchange for American Alan Gross, who had been held hostage by the Cuban regime for over five years. Gross was a foreign aid worker imprisoned by the Castro regime for trying to help ordinary Cubans communicate with the outside world. President Obama confirmed the role of Pope Francis, a vocal critic of Western-style capitalism, in the deal.
Once again, we are treated to a display of secret and deceptive government by the Obama administration, in this case designed to bolster an anti-American regime. The announcement was made after Congress adjourned for the legislative session.
Among its other crimes against the American people, the Castro regime sponsored terrorism on American soil carried out by such groups as the Weather Underground and the Puerto Rican FALN. Testimony confirms that the Weather Underground murdered San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell on February 16, 1970. The FALN claimed responsibility for over 140 bombings, including the infamous January 24, 1975, lunchtime attack on Fraunces Tavern in New York City which killed four innocent people.
Puerto Rican FALN terrorist William Morales and Black Liberation Army cop-killer Joanne Chesimard are currently being protected by the Cuban regime.
Humberto Fontova, author of the book, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro, tells Accuracy in Media (AIM) that the deal confirms that Gross was a hostage all along. “He was quite simply a hostage,” said Fontova. “That was the word that the media tried to avoid. He was a hostage. The Castro regime grabbed Gross as a hostage, and it worked like a charm.”
The New York Times had endorsed such a deal in a November 2, 2014, editorial, “A Prisoner Swap With Cuba.”
The deal also proves that Obama’s officials had been lying all along. Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald reported back in June that “The Obama administration says it is not negotiating for the release of Alan Gross, the U.S. government contractor arrested in Cuba in 2009 on alleged spy charges.”
The Miami Herald quoted Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as saying back in June that she didn’t think the administration was being honest about negotiating with the communist regime. “I seriously believe the administration is considering a swap,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said. “The administration has shown itself not to be faithful to the law and is not to be trusted.”
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen was correct.
I wrote about the proposed deal in my column, “Obama May Free Cuban Spies and Terrorists.”
We noted that before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan was Obama’s solicitor general and submitted a legal brief in the “Cuban Five” case. She noted in the brief that members of the “Cuban five” were affiliated with the Cuban intelligence service and the “Wasp Network,” whose purpose included penetrating U.S. military facilities and transmitting information about the facilities’ operations and layout to Cuba, and infiltrating Cuban-American groups.
One of the “Cuban five,” Gerardo Hernandez, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of four people, members of Brothers to the Rescue. The four were shot out of the air in international waters by Cuban MiGs after the spy alerted Cuba to their plans.
Through this deal, Obama is equating murder and spying against the U.S. with Alan Gross trying to bring Internet freedom to the Cuban people.
What’s more, Obama says he will review whether Cuba should remain on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. He’s deliberately ignoring the fact that Chesimard, a convicted cop-killer and member of the Black Liberation Army, escaped from prison and fled to Cuba with the help of the Weather Underground. Also known as Assata Shakur, she was involved in the “execution style” murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.
Joe Connor, who lost his father in the Fraunces Tavern FALN bomb blast in New York City, is angry that Obama didn’t insist that Cuba send the two terrorists, Chesimard and Morales, back to the U.S. to face justice. As the deal stands, the U.S. gets back one unidentified intelligence “agent,” in addition to Gross, in exchange for three Cuban spies—one of them convicted of murder.
“We need to make a condition of any relations with Cuba the return of all fugitives from American justice,” Connor said. “At the top of that list needs to be Chesimard and Morales.”
In our May 3, 2013, column, “How Obama Obstructs Justice in the Search for a Communist Terrorist,” we noted, “If the FBI wants to find Joanne Chesimard, who has just been added to the ‘Most Wanted Terrorists List,’ it could begin by wiretapping President Obama’s friends, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and other members of the Weather Underground.” Ayers and Dohrn helped sponsor Obama’s political career in Chicago, after he was mentored in Marxism by Communist Party operative Frank Marshall Davis in Hawaii.
If Obama had been devoted to freedom for the Cuban people, he would have sought regime change in Cuba. Obama could also have used his policy of “humanitarian intervention” to protect the courageous dissidents in Cuba, who are beaten up and tortured by the secret police of the regime. But Obama has decided to pursue a policy of keeping the Castro brothers in power and simply talks about possible changes in Cuba.
If we had a U.S. President devoted to freedom in the world, Morales and Chesimard could have been snatched in Cuba and brought back to face justice in the U.S. “All that it would take is an order from the President of the United States,” we noted in one column. Of course, Obama is not interested in bringing them to justice. It will be up to Congress to demand answers from the administration about why there were no demands for the return of these terrorist fugitives.
Another area of inquiry has to be the secret negotiations. It may be the case that Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder was in on the deal. When he was deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, Holder was involved in pardons for members of the FALN and the Weather Underground.
In covering the deal, our media are conveniently ignoring the fact that, during the Cold War, Cuba hosted Soviet nuclear missiles targeting the U.S. Former CIA officer Brian Latell’s book, Castro’s Secrets, includes the revelation that Fidel Castro knew that Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-declared Marxist and Castro sympathizer, was going to kill President Kennedy.
CIA defector Philip Agee died in Havana after doing terrible damage to our intelligence efforts. The FBI file on Agee shows that Agee was a Cuban DGI and Soviet KGB operative.
Fontova tells AIM that Obama has already done a lot to bolster the Castro regime, by facilitating travel to the communist island and enabling Cubans in the U.S. to send money back to their relatives. The latter, he said, amounts to about $4 billion a year—more than what the Soviets provided on a yearly basis to the regime.
Still, he says some aspects of the Cuban embargo are written into law. “The votes are not there” to lift the embargo entirely, he said.
But he said Obama will do everything possible to undermine what’s left of the embargo through more executive orders.
Under Obama’s plan, Castro will be able to open a full-blown embassy in Washington, D.C., which will function as a major base of spying operations, in addition to its United Nations mission. The so-called Cuban Interests Section currently operates as Castro’s embassy in the nation’s capital and as a front for the Cuban intelligence service, the DGI.
In the past, as AIM has discussed on several occasions, Cuban agents operating out of the Cuban Interests Section have been actively manipulating members of the U.S. press and working with U.S.-based communist groups to influence U.S. policy toward Cuba. This kind of espionage will accelerate as Obama’s pro-Castro policy goes forward.
With today’s announcement by President Obama that the U.S. will be normalizing relations with Cuba, American foreign policy took a very dark turn. Just at the point when this hideous regime was on the verge of collapse, our president took action that will not promote freedom for the Cuban people, but will throw an economic lifeline to a brutal dictatorship to enable it to stay in power. Disgraceful and shameful beyond words.
Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.
The Council In Action!!
– My latest, Fear And Loathing – Labor And Livni’s Hatnua Join Forces is up at the Times of Israel.
You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.
To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.
It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?
So, let’s see what we have for you this week…
- The Noisy Room – Boehner Betrays His Conservative Base by Passing the CRomnibus and ‘It Stinks to High Heaven’
- The Independent Sentinel – Did The Republicans Lose The Election?
- Simply Jews – Wayne Madsen does it again or How to be had gracefully
- VA Right! – Why Would the PEC Fight to Keep Easement Enforcement on Martha Boneta’s Farm?
- Rhymes With Right – Harris County GOP Endorses Scott Turner For Texas Speaker Of The House
- The Glittering Eye – How Do You Know What You’re Doing is Right?
- The Razor – Limousine Liberals and Faux Populists
- Bookworm Room – Some of America’s ugliest antisemitism comes from young Hollywood Jews (language warning)
- Joshuapundit – Hanukkah, The Festival Of Lights And Freedom
- Nice Deb – Sheriff Clark: After Obama, We’re Going To Need A “Period Of Reconstruction To Put The Country Back Together”
- The Right Planet – Let’s Talk LEGAL Immigration, Shall We?
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Battle Of The Bulge
- IOwnTheWorldReport.com – Detroilet Prosecutor’s Office Doesn’t Sign Warrants In Time and Dozens of Murders, Child Abusers and Rapists Get Freed
- The Political Commentator – Obama’s Legacy? Pakistani schoolchildren slaughtered by members of the Religion of Peace!
- Blazing Cat Fur – From moderate Democrats to white Evangelicals, nearly every demographic group believes torture can be justified
- Mark Steyn – Emasculated and Enkindled submitted by The Noisy Room
- Sultan Knish – The Savage Lands of Islam submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- David Gerstman/Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion – Will the New Center-Left Coalition Unseat Netanyahu? submitted by Simply Jews
- Washington Times – Federal judge finds Obama amnesty is unconstitutional submitted by VA Right!
- Shoebat.Com – Christian Man Asks Thirteen Gay Bakeries To Bake Him Pro-Traditional Marriage Cake, And Is Denied Service By All Of Them (WATCH THE SHOCKING VIDEO) submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Sic Semper Tyrannus – The US must purge itself submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Kurt Schlichter – Nothing Succeeds Like Liberal Secession submitted by The Razor
- Sultan Knish – Life In Post truth America submitted by Bookworm Room
- Lee Smith/The Weekly Standard – America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming World Disorder submitted by Joshuapundit
- Andrew McCarthy/NRO – The Feinstein Report Is Going to Cost Us submitted by Nice Deb
- Patterico’s Pontifications – The Hidden Bad Assumptions in Socialist Thought submitted by The Right Planet
- The Federalist – Dads, Give Your Daughters The Gift Of Football submitted by The Watcher
- Byron York/Washington Examiner – Yes, Congress can stop Obama’s immigration action submitted by The Watcher
Arlene from Israel
Tonight we light the first light in the eight day Festival of Chanukah. A time for joy and hope.
Actually, there are two stories of Chanukah: One has to do with the miracle of the oil, which burned in the Temple for eight days although there was only enough oil for one day. In commemoration of this, we eat foods associated with oil – potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (donuts).
In truth, if we are going to talk about miracles: the existence of modern Israel is a miracle. We should be ever mindful of this, and ever grateful.
Then there is the historical Chanukah story of the Maccabees battle against the Greeks – which enabled them to regain and rededicate the Temple after it had been defiled. There are lessons here in terms of determination and bravery (for the war was very long and bitter) and dedication to our traditional practices and our faith. All very much lessons for today.
A particular determination is required right now. For these are very tough times, no matter how you cut it.
I held off posting yesterday to see what would evolve with regard to the UN Security Council and anti-Israel resolutions to be brought forward. But there is nothing definitive to report yet.
Prime Minster Netanyahu, who met with Secretary of State Kerry yesterday, seems to be holding tough. He says he will not agree to any UN coercion.
Kerry himself is waffling, and this is very unsettling. Netanyahu put on a good front before meeting with Kerry, saying that there was no reason to believe that the US would diverge from its traditional position of vetoing Security Council measures that are anti-Israel. But that is not really the case. We know what a lame duck Obama is capable of.
At a press conference today, Kerry said that the parties themselves must resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict – it cannot be done from the outside.
Nu? That means it cannot be resolved via UN attempts to force Israel to move back to the ‘67 line. No?
But in that same press conference he offered no assurances about his readiness to veto what might yet be proposed.
Of course, it is possible that the Kerry “indecision” is a tactic aimed at getting Netanyahu to cave on agreeing to negotiate. So far I have no indication that Netanyahu has agreed to anything.
One of the things I picked up today was a reference by Kerry about “the cycle of violence,” which invariably infuriates me. This is a false moral equivalency. There is no cycle of violence, only Arab terrorism and Israeli response.
The PA may bring forward a proposal this week that would require Israel to return to its situation prior to the 1967 war by February 2016; it would acknowledge eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, and would make provision for the “Palestinian refugees.” There is no precise wording of this proposal available in its entirety yet.
The French are working on a different proposal that would, as I understand it, require that negotiations between Israel and the PA be completed in two years. Somewhat less horrendous than the PA version, but neither viable nor acceptable.
Please, dear readers, do not panic about any of this. It’s a long way from a PA-proposed resolution in the Security Council, which has not yet materialized, to a real shift in Israel’s situation.
Relevant to this, I believe, is the announcement by the PA that they would not be cancelling security cooperation with Israel over the death of Abi Ein, as had been threatened. A PA official now admits that they never intended to follow-through with the threats. They rely on Israel, said this official.
Hey, no surprise there. Abbas wouldn’t last a week if not for Israel’s control of Hamas in Judea and Samaria.
What we see then is that the PA leadership makes threats that it doesn’t necessarily intend to act upon. And that Israel has some leverage over the PA.
The PA says that if its proposal does not pass in the Security Council it will go to the International Criminal Court and level charges of war crimes against Israeli leaders. This may be yet another threat. Abbas has already been warned by our leaders that this path would work two ways. In any event, there is no guarantee that the ICC would accept “a Palestinian state” as a member.
But see what one very wonderful legal warrior in Israel, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat Ha-Din – the Israel Law Center, is doing: filing claims in the ICC against Abbas and Hamas leaders. She is taking the offensive and hopes to make Abbas think twice.
Let me turn here, then, to a brief update on the political circus:
Eli Yishai has made it official. He has broken with the Shas party and is forming a new party, Yahad – Together. It is being watched very closely, for it appears that it will not be just a duplicate of the haredi party, Shas, but will bring in national religious elements as well. It aims to be a party that, indeed, unifies people in their concern for religious values and political nationalism. Although it is early to make predictions, it carries genuine promise.
What we know so far is that Yoni Chetboun, who just left Habayit Hayehudi because of some deep discontents, will be joining Yishai. And now all eyes are on the relationship between Uri Ariel and Naftali Bennett. If Uriel walks out of Habyit Hayehudi with his Tekuma faction, he would very likely join Yishai.
There are very early predictions that when the dust settles this new party might bring in as much as seven mandates. Aryeh Deri, who now heads Shas, is having conniptions. But on Aryeh Deri, who is not exactly the model of an upright politician, it looks good. Apparently Yishai – who was pretty much shafted by Deri – will take a fair amount of support with him and has already received the endorsement of some significant rabbis.
Finally…Chanukah, songs. First a medley of some traditional songs with a pleasing twist:
http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/taking-tradition-to-a-whole-knew-level/ (Yes, it should be a “new” level, but the singing is nice.)
And then, a very lovely new version of the classic Maoz Tzur, by much-loved Israeli entertainer and cantor Dudu Fisher:
Enjoy, and Chag Chanukah Sameach!
© Mohammad Sajjad/AP Photo – A plainclothes security officer escorts students evacuated from a school as Taliban fighters attack another school nearby in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the worst attack to hit the country in over a year.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Taliban militants disguised as soldiers stormed an elite army high school in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 132 students and teachers and bringing defiant pledges to strike back harder against terrorism after one of the country’s bloodiest days.
Some children were beheaded. These are the savages that Barrack Hussein Obama praises, negotiates with and frees, that Hillary Clinton empathizes with and that Democrats want us to apologize to. Who will be next?
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Uniformed militants attacked a school, killing at least 126 people and taking hostages on Tuesday, an official said – an atrocity condemned by the U.S. as “senseless and inhumane.”
“The gunmen entered class by class and shot some kids one by one,” a student who was in the school at the time told local media.
Provincial official Bahramand Khan said at least 126 people were killed and 122 injured. More than 100 of the dead were school children, he added. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault, which appeared to be targeting the the children of senior military officials.
Bombs planted by the attackers slowed rescue efforts, a military official said, adding that operations at the scene were “closing up”.
Commandos exchanged fire with gunmen who entered the Army Public School in Peshawar. Five “heavy” explosions were heard from the school at around 5 a.m. ET. The Pakistani military later said six Taliban militants had been killed.
About 500 students and teachers were believed to be inside the site when gunfire erupted, although it was unclear how many remained inside the school.
A military source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told NBC News that the attackers were wearing police uniforms and suicide vests. “They burnt a teacher in front of the students in a classroom,” he added. “They literally set the teacher on fire with gasoline and made the kids watch.”
Some child hostages were thought to be held at gunpoint by militants in the school’s main auditorium. The military-run school has students in grades one through 10.