Dozens of injured teachers and students rushed to hospital as Pakistani army says school siege by Taliban gunmen is ''closing up.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Sirens wailed as ambulances streamed to Peshawar's Lady Reading hospital on Tuesday (December 16) carrying victims of a bloody Taliban attack on a school in the northern city. At least 130 people, most of them children, were killed after Taliban gunmen broke into the school and opened fire, witnesses said, in the bloodiest massacre Pakistan has seen for years. More than eight hours after militants entered the school compound, the military declared the operation to expel them over, and said that all nine insurgents had been killed. Earlier, the provincial minister Shah Farman said casualty figures were high. Officials said 122 people were wounded. A local hospital said the dead and injured were aged from 10 to 20 years old. The attack at a military-run high school attended by at least 500 students, many of them children of army personnel, struck at the heart of Pakistan's military establishment, an assault certain to enrage the country's powerful army. The Taliban, waging war against Pakistan in order to topple the government and set up an Islamic state, immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. According to early witness accounts, a group of militants burst into the school as students attended classes and lectures, shooting indiscriminately at both pupils and teachers. The gunmen, who several students said communicated with each other in a foreign language, managed to slip past the school's tight security because they were wearing Pakistani military uniforms, local media reported. The Pakistani Taliban have vowed to step up attacks in response to a major army operation against the insurgents in the tribal areas.