Taliban Claims Its Massacre at a School Is a Brutal Eye-for-an-Eye, Malala Yousafzai Condemns It (VIDEO)
Shouting “God is great,” Taliban militants ran through classes of the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar in Northwest Pakistan, Tuesday, wearing suicide vests and spraying bullets. They came prepared for days of a hostage siege, and in the end, killed 132 children, mostly between the ages of 12 and 16 and 9 adults, before being killed in a firefight with Pakistani military forces, who freed nearly 1,000 other students and staff. Samina Ahmed told CNN,
“The military runs a number of schools, they call them the Army Public Schools. Clearly this one was chosen because of its affiliation with the military, and also because it was a soft target. There are children there.”
The Pakistani military claimed on December 9 to have routed and nearly defeated the Taliban in a sustained 6-month offensive against the “tribal regions” of Waziristan in Northwest Pakistan.
Al-Jazeera reports that the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation against that campaign.
“The TTP [Taliban] said many of their family members had been killed in the campaign, and said the attack on the school was in revenge for those deaths.”
“Many TTP members have lost their family members and they have said they want to inflict pain,” Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder said.
“But many ordinary people put their children in military schools because of the relatively higher standard of education, so normal people have been hit as well by this.”
Even if there were only military children at the school, the attack should not be considered an acceptable strike in the conduct of war. Children are in no way responsible for their parents’ battles. The massacre is a flagrant crime against humanity on a disturbing scale and should be treated as such.
The Taliban fighters’ willingness to die while brutally slaughtering schoolchildren and their educators demonstrates that the Taliban ideology offers Pakistan, Afghanistan and the world nothing of value. It is anathema to education, development and civilization; to all the things that make a community decent. It stains the religion it claims to uphold with the blood of innocents. Its ideology belongs in a museum alongside relics of the Stone Age.
No one knows this better than the Taliban’s most famous victim and critic, 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, who responded,
“Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this,… I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts.”
Malala called on Pakistanis to unite and for the international community to support them.
“…we should make sure that every child gets safe and quality education.”
When a teenage girl wanting an education poses an existential threat to an ideology, it’s safe to say that ideology is a moral and intellectual void.
Hear Malala’s response to the attack: