student attack
A man comforts his son, who was injured during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, on 16 December 2014.Reuters

Following are the 10 most horrifying attacks by terrorists and gunmen targeting students:

1. Beslan massacre (1 September 2004): 386 killed, over 700 injured. Members of Chechen leader Shamil Basayev's Riyadhin al-Salihin group took more than 1,200 school children and adults hostage Sep 1, 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia. After a three-day standoff with Russian security forces, 386 people were killed, 186 of them children.

2. Bath School disaster (18 May 1927): 45 killed, 58 injured. Former school board member Andrew Kehoe set off three bombs in Bath township in the US state of Michigan. Kehoe later killed himself and the superintendent by blowing up his own vehicle.

3. Virginia Tech massacre (16 April 2007): 32 killed, 17 injured. The Virginia Tech massacre was a school shooting comprising two separate attacks about two hours apart, on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, US. The perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people before committing suicide. It was the deadliest shooting massacre by a single gunman in US history.

4. Ma'alot massacre (15 May 1974): 26 killed, 60 injured. On the 26th anniversary of Israeli independence, members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine took a group of 100 high school students hostage while they were on a class trip to Ma'alot in Israel.

5. Erfurt massacre (26 April 2002): 18 killed, seven injured. Robert Steinhauser, a 19-year-old expelled student of the Gutenburg Gymnasium School in the east German city of Erfurt, went on a shooting spree, killing 17, including a policeman, before killing himself.

6. Dunblane massacre (13 March 1996): 17 killed. Thomas Hamilton, an unemployed former shopkeeper and Scout leader, walked into Dunblane Primary School near Stirling in Scotland, armed with two 9 mm pistols and two .357 Magnum revolvers. He killed 16 children and a teacher. This tragedy led to the banning of handguns in Britain.

7. University of Texas Clock Tower massacre (1 August 1966): 17 killed, 31 injured. A day after killing his wife and mother, Charles Whitman, an engineering student and former US Marine, pointed a rifle from the observation deck of the University of Texas at Austin's Tower and went on a 96-minute homicidal rampage before he was shot dead by police.

8. Columbine High School massacre (20 April 1999): 15 killed, 24 injured. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, stormed Columbine High School at Littleton in the US state of Colorado, and murdered 12 other students aged 14 to 18 as well as a teacher. Both the perpetrators of the attack then committed suicide.

9. The Ecole Polytechnique massacre (6 December 1989): 15 killed, 14 injured. Claiming that he was "fighting feminism", 25-year-old Marc Lepine, 25, separated men and women in a classroom of the École Polytechnique at the University of Montreal, Canada, and shot all nine women present, killing six of them. He then moved through the corridors, cafeteria and another classroom, killing in all 14 women. He then took his own life.

10. Cologne school massacre (11 June 1964): 11 killed, 22 injured. Armed with a flame thrower, a lance and a homebuilt mace, Walter Seifert, 42, who was dismissed from police service after being found to be infected with tubersulosis, entered the Katholische Volksschule (Catholic elementary school) in Cologne, Germany, and opened fire on girls playing in the courtyard. He then knocked in classroom windows with his mace and fired inside. Eight students and two teachers were killed. He then consumed a cyanide pill and died the next day in police custody.