The 10th-graders were having a class party when the gunmen burst into the auditorium. Disguised as Pakistani security forces and armed with automatic weapons, they moved through the crowd of cowering children, shooting methodically.
“I immediately hid beneath the desk,” student Shah Rukh Khan said, “and they continued firing.” The boy remained quiet, pretending to be dead as classmates collapsed around him, their dark green school uniforms soaked through with blood.
When it was over, 132 children and nine staff members were killed Tuesday at an army-run school in this northeastern city in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s troubled history. Many were shot in the temple at close range. One 9-year-old told his father that a classmate’s head was nearly blown off his body.