Stories of Tragedy from Peshawar

  • Ninth class Dawood is the only surviving member in his class
  • 16-year-old Shah Rukh pretended to be dead to survive
  • Shah Rukh was shot in both legs and was witness to the horror
  • Media found chilling evidence of the violence in the school

(P Ravi)

Peshawar, Pakistan, December 17: Ninth class boy Dawood is the only survivor from his class. The boy studies in the Army School where terrorists struck. He missed his school as his alarm failed to ring and he overslept as he attended a marriage on Monday. He later realised that he is the only surviving member as the rest of his classmates were killed by the terrorists. And he spent the day attending funerals. He became quiet and does not show any emotion say his family. “Dawood isn’t talking to anyone, he isn’t talking at all,” his elder brother Sufyan Ibrahim said. “He is in judo and is a tough child but he is showing no emotion at all right now. He just attended funerals the entire day. No one from his class survived; every single one of them was killed.” (The Express Tribune) The 15-year old national Under 16 player may have been lucky to have survived the ghastly attack, but he sure will need all the strength to overcome the tragedy that struck his class.

Another survivor 16-year-old Shah Rukh Khan who was shot in both the legs explained how he played dead to avoid being killed. He was attending a career guidance event in the school auditorium when terrorists entered and shot at students randomly, standing on the stage. They then went looking for students who hid under the desks. Shah Rukh relates, “I folded my tie and pushed it into my mouth so that I wouldn’t scream. The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again. My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me — I felt as though it was death that was approaching me.” Terrorists apparently did not want anyone alive and gunned down the students who tried to run. Around 100 bodies were found in the auditorium itself. Shah Rukh further relates what he has seen after the terrorists had left, “The men left after some time and I stayed there for a few minutes. Then I tried to get up but fell to the ground because of my wounds. When I crawled to the next room, it was horrible. I saw the dead body of our office assistant on fire.  She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned.”

A father was inconsolable as he went to the hospital to collect his son’s body. “My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” lamented Tahir Ali. His 14-year-old son Abdullah was shot dead by the terrorists. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

The media was allowed into the school today and the aftermath of the attack was there for everyone to see. Broken windows and doors, blood pooled on floor and stains on the walls, note books, pieces of clothes, shoes scattered all over the floor, a pair of spectacles lying abandoned. The entire country is in mourning as funerals were conducted across the city, today.

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