Peshawar school attack: 'We've killed all the children ... what do we do now?'
Details have emerged from the final conversation the Peshawar gunmen had with their handler moments before the end of Tuesday’s brutal school massacre in Pakistan.
After slaughtering 132 school children and nine members of staff, militants contacted their commanders to say: “We have killed all the children in the auditorium. What do we do now?”
Wounded children have spoken from hospital of how many of their classmates were killed when the gunmen, wearing explosives strapped to their bodies, started to fire indiscriminately on students and their teachers.
Military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said many students were gathered for an event in the auditorium. Around 100 bodies were later recovered from this room alone, he said.
In the exchanges, reported by the Pakistan newspaper Dawn, one gunman called Abuzar appeals for directions from his handler, identified by officials as senior Taliban commander for the Peshawar region Umar Adizai.
Asked what the gunmen should do next, Umar responds: “Wait for the army people, kill them before blowing yourself up.”
This, the officials said, was one of the final conversations intercepted between the gunmen and their handlers, taking place moments before the two remaining militants charged the army’s special operatives.
The transcripts have been released as part of an intelligence dossier Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif shared with officials in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
General Sharif travelled to Afghanistan to share “vital elements of intelligence”, a statement said, because officials believe the school massacre was ordered by the Pakistan Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah.
Fazlullah is thought to be hiding in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province – and security officials said Umar’s calls could be traced to the Nazian district of Afghanistan’s Nangrahar province. They now want the Afghan authorities to take action.
Meanwhile, a Pakistan court granted bail to a man accused of masterminding one of the region’s most deadly previous terror attacks, the 2008 rampage through the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people.
The decision to grant bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is likely to enrage India and may hinder recent attempts to patch up rocky relations between the countries.
Lakhvi was arrested in Pakistan in 2009 in connection with the attack on Mumbai by Pakistani militants, after he was named by the sole surviving gunman.
India blamed Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the Mumbai attacks. Ten gunmen spent three days spraying bullets and throwing grenades around some of the country's most famous landmarks.
Belfast Telegraph Digital