Independent News and Media

Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre

MORE than 140 pupils and teachers have been killed by Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers at an army-run school in Pakistan.

This is what we know so far:

• All militants have been killed and the siege is over, police say.

• 141 people, including 132 children, have been killed and 114 injured

• A teacher was reportedly burned alive in front of pupils and children were shot in the head.

• The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban) has claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was in revenge for an anti-terrorist military offensive.

• Spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said it was "just the trailer" to further attacks.A Taliban spokesman said the army was being targeted and militants had been told not to harm young children.

• Eyewitnesses said the attackers were dressed as soldiers and opened fire at random, detonating an unknown number of suicide bombs.

• David Cameron expressed his sympathy on Twitter, calling the targeting of a school "horrifying" and "deeply shocking" and political leaders around the world have condemned the massacre.

Pakistan has been gripped by an insurgency by the Taliban and other radical groups for more than a decade. Tens of thousands of civilians and security personnel have died, and today's school attack was among the worst.

Here is a timeline of  the major attacks in Pakistan in recent years, according to the Associated Press.

- Nov. 2: Taliban suicide bomber kills 60 in attack on a paramilitary checkpoint close to the Wagah border crossing with India.
- June 9: Ten gunmen disguised as police guards attack a terminal at Pakistan's busiest airport with machine guns and a rocket launcher, killing 13 people during a five-hour siege.
- 8 June: A suicide bomber in the country's southwest killed at least 23 Shiite pilgrims returning from Iran.

-Sept. 22: A twin suicide bomb blast in a Peshawar church kills at least 85 people.
-Aug. 17: Heavily armed Taliban fighters blast their way into a Pakistani air force base, leaving two security officers and nine insurgents dead.
-June 22: 10 Foreign climbers killed by militants on Nanga Parbat, ninth highest mountain in world.
-March 3: Explosion in Karachi kills 45 Shiites outside a mosque.
- Jan. 10: Bombing in Shiite area of southern city of Quetta kills 81 people, wounds 120.

- Nov. 22: A Taliban suicide bomber struck a Shiite Muslim procession in the city of Rawalpindi, near Pakistan's capital, killing 23 people.
- Jan. 5: Taliban shoot and kill 15 Pakistani frontier police after holding them hostage for more than a year.

- Sept. 20: Militants kill at least 26 Shiites on a bus near the southern city of Quetta.
- May 23: Pakistani commandos recapture a major naval base from Taliban attackers who struck to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid. Militants destroyed two U.S.-supplied surveillance aircraft and killed at least 10 personnel.
- May 13: A pair of Taliban suicide bombers attacks paramilitary police recruits in Shabqadar, killing 80, also in retaliation for bin Laden's killing.

- Nov. 5: A suicide bomber strikes a Sunni mosque in Darra Adam Khel in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 67 during Friday prayers.
- Sept. 1: A triple Taliban suicide attack on a Shiite Muslim procession kills 65 in the southwestern city of Quetta.
- July 9: Two suicide bombers kills 102 people in the Mohmand tribal region.
- July 2: Suicide bombers attack Pakistan's most revered Sufi shrine in the eastern city of Lahore, killing 47 people.
- May 29: Two militant squads armed with hand grenades, suicide vests and assault rifles attack two mosques of the Ahmadi minority sect in Lahore, killing 97.
- March 13: Two suicide bombers targeting army vehicles in Lahore kill more than 55 people.
- Jan. 1: A suicide bomber drives a truckload of explosives into a volleyball field in Lakki Marwat district in the northwest, killing at least 97 people.

- Dec. 28: Bomb blast kills at least 44 at a Shia procession in the southern city of Karachi.
- Dec. 7: Two bombs kill 48 at a market in the eastern city of Lahore, while a suicide bomber kills 10 people outside a Peshawar courthouse.
- Oct. 9: A suicide car bomber hits a busy market area in Peshawar, killing 53.
- May 27: A suicide car bomber targets police and intelligence offices in the eastern city of Lahore, killing about 30 people.
- March 27: A suicide bomber demolishes a packed mosque near the northwestern town of Jamrud, killing about 50.
- March 3: Gunmen attack the Sri Lankan national cricket team in Lahore, wounding several of the players and killing six policemen and a driver.

- Sept. 20: A suicide bomber devastates the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad with a truck full of explosives, killing at least 54.
- Aug. 21: Suicide bombers blow themselves up at two gates of a weapons factory in the town of Wah, killing at least 67 people.

- Dec. 27: Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and 20 other people are killed in a suicide bombing and shooting attack in Rawalpindi.
- Oct. 18: Suicide bombing aimed at Bhutto kills some 150 people in Karachi during celebrations welcoming her home from self-exile.
- July 3-11: An eight-day standoff between security forces and militants inside the compound of the Red Mosque, or Lal Masjid, kills 102 people.