Peshawar: Two days after a horrendous attack by the Taliban on an Army-run school left Pakistan numb with grief, the minutes of one of the last conversations one attacker and his handler had were revealed on Thursday.
“We have killed all the children in the auditorium,” one of the seven attackers told his handler during a phone call he made while his fellow attackers continued to spill the blood of innocents at the Army Public School in Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. “What do we do now?” he asked. “Wait for the Army people, kill them before blowing yourself,” his handler ordered.
The Dawn quoted a security official as saying that shortly after this conversation, intercepted by Pakistani intelligence, two remaining suicide bombers `charged towards the special operations soldiers positioned just outside the side entrance of the Army Public School’s administration block` on Tuesday.
During his visit to Kabul on Wednesday, Pakistan's Army Chief General Raheel Sharif shared with the Afghan authorities an intelligence dossier, which included the conversations intercepted during seven and a half hours of the school siege.
“Vital elements of intelligence were shared with the authorities concerned with regard to the Peshawar incident,” an Inter-Services Public Relations statement on General Sharif’s visit to Afghanistan said.
He also told the Afghan leadership that the terrorists were using Afghan soil to carry out attacks in Pakistan.
As per the document received from the Counter-Terrorism Department, Peshawar, the bombers have been identified as Abuzar, Umar, Imran, Yousaf, Uzair, Qari and Chamnay.
The suicide bombers were given training at Sheen Drang Markaz of Bara after which they were sent to Peshawar, according to the document, which adds that the grisly attack was planned by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) central leadership and militants from Bajaur, Mohmand and Orakzai tribal regions during a meeting. Mullah Fazlullah had supervised the meeting held near a Pakistan-Afghanistan border area in the first week of December, the document, according to the Express Tribune, notes.
According to the Dawn, the suicide bombers held conversation with their handler `Umar Adizai` (also known as Umar Naray and Umar Khalifa), who is a senior militant from the Frontier Region Peshawar.
Security officials believe he made the calls from Nazian district of Afghanistan’s Nangrahar province, the Dawn added.
On Wednesday, political parties cutting across all sections expressed their resolve to stay united in the fight against terrorism even as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the moratorium on death sentence will be lifted in terrorism cases.
Following the all-party meeting, Sharif said that there would be no distinction between good and bad Taliban and expressed his resolve to continue the war against terrorism till the elimination of the last terrorist from the country’s soil.
Meanwhile, condemnation for the heinous act continued to pour in from across the world, including from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
The Afghan Taliban also joined the international community in condemning the massacre of children.
"The Afghan Taliban expresses its sorrow over the tragedy and grief for the families of the victims," the group's official spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement late Tuesday.
"The intentional killing of innocent people, children and women is against the basics of Islam and this criteria has to be considered by every Islamic party and government," it said.