The attack last month killed at least 145 people, most of them children
One survivor, who was shot in the back, says he's excited to go back to class
"My children are not afraid," his proud mother says
The school where the Pakistani Taliban massacred more than 130 children last month reopened its doors for classes Monday.
The horrifying terrorist attack on the Army Public School and Degree College in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar killed at least 145 people, including 132 children.
Shahrukh Hussain, 15, is one of the survivors. He was shot in the back while protecting two classmates from Taliban gunmen who went on a murderous rampage through the school’s auditorium.
The majority of Shahrukh’s 10th grade class was wiped out. He still has a bullet lodged in his back.
But after weeks at home, he said ahead of the reopening that he was excited to go back to school.
His proud mother supported his eagerness to return.
“He’s very brave, my son,” she said. “The Taliban is spreading fear and terrorism but we are not afraid. My children are not afraid.”
Military and school officials are aiming to shore up security at the school, but to also make the campus seem normal again after the horror.
The Pakistani Taliban, who were widely condemned for the attack, said they targeted a school that mostly admits soldiers’ children because the students aspired to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and fight militants.
They said the attack was revenge for the killing of hundreds of tribespeople during Pakistani military operations in the country’s loosely governed northwestern region near the border with Afghanistan.
The military operation against Taliban strongholds is continuing.
Journalist Michelle Stockman reported from Peshawar, and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong.