Details are now emerging on Tuesday's carnage, when Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. Pupils have been describing the nightmarish moment when armed men went on a point-blank shooting spree visiting classes, and how one boy played dead in order to survive the attack.
The boy in question has described how he was shot in both legs by the insurgents who were hunting down students to kill. The bloodiest ever terror attack in Pakistan saw militants rampaging through an army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar and killing at least 141 people, most of them children and students.
Speaking from his bed in the trauma ward of the city's Lady Reading Hospital, 16-year-old Shahrukh Khan narrated the horrifying moment when gunmen wearing paramilitary uniforms burst into an auditorium when he and his classmates were having a career guidance session, AFP reported.
He said the gunmen shouted "Allahu Akabr" (God is great) before opening fire indiscriminately shortly after someone instructed them to hide behind the desks in the room.
"Then one of them shouted: 'There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them'," he told AFP. "I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me; this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches."
The 16-year-old further said that he then decided to act as though he was dead. He folded his tie and pushed it into his mouth so that he wouldn't be able to scream.
"The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again," the boy said recollecting the most gruesome experience of his life.
"My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me – I felt as though it was death that was approaching me."
Khan further recalled how the men left after some time and he stayed there for a few seconds. He tried to get up after the gunmen left without shooting him for the second time, but he fell to the ground because of the wounds.
"When I crawled to the next room, it was horrible. I saw the dead body of our office assistance on fire," he said describing the scene of carnage around him.
"She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned."
The peace of the city was shattered in a instance, innocence was lost within minutes and the world saw one of the most gruesome days of blood and inhumanity on Tuesday as gunfire, smoke and dead bodies strewn across the school's halls and corridors and streams of blood flooded the place, where laughter of innocent children reverberated until some time ago.
Crazed fanatics rushed from room to room shooting randomly at any human they saw in front of them, children or otherwise, registering their name in history as the perpetrators of the biggest ever attack that the country saw.
Wearing suicide vests and Pakistani army uniforms, nine militants burst into the building at around 10 am local time bypassing the heavily guarded main entrance and slipping in through a back entrance that was less frequently used, witnesses said, as suggested by reports.
At least 500 pupils aged between 10 and 20 years old were inside the building when the attack started. When the gunfight between the Taliban and Pakistani forces intensified, at least three of the militants blew themselves up, instantly producing several charred bodies. The suicide bomb explosion had burnt the faces of many children so badly that some parents could not recognise them.