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Dont re at me and my children

Altaf Hussain
Age: 42
The day of the attack was his
6-year-old daughter Khaulas
rst day at school

Dont re at me and my children


Altaf Hussain had been teaching English at APS for 15
years. The day of the attack was his 6-year-old daughter
Khaulas rst day at school. They were completing her
admission form when the ring started. He handed his
daughter over to another teacher. Both were killed soon
after.
Meanwhile, Hussain ran outside and confronted three
armed men. He pointed to his beard and said, Look at
this. Dont re at me and my children. The assailants
responded with bullets and left him there to die.
Despite eight bullets in his body that rendered him
immobile, Hussain managed to drag himself inside a
room and lock the door behind him. Army personnel
showed up a few hours later; he was nally rescued only
to be informed that his daughter had been killed.
Hussain rejoined APS in May and teaches a dierent class
now. His stamina has suered greatly, and going to the
school is an ordeal for him. But he feels it is necessary to
be courageous and show up for the students.

The attack, the return to school


Ahmed Jan
Age: 16 Class: 10
"Our teachers told us to lie
down on the oor...among the
rain of bullets, Allah almighty
kept me safe, but I lost my
brother"

The attack, the return to school


For two hours Ahmed and his friends hid inside their
classroom, and shielded themselves from the heavy
ring outside.
News arrived that Ahmeds brother had been seriously
injured. Ahmed says the feeling of helplessness sent
him into shock. My brother was not just my brother, he
was my best friend, Ahmed says.
Outside the school, his father was waiting for the two
brothers to exit safely, but only one made it.
A month later, Ahmed returned to APS and wanted to
leave. The visuals of blood, bodies and injured people
haunted him. But he was not willing to give up on his
dream to become an engineer, and is slowly readjusting to normal life while seeking psychological
help for trauma.

The screams of children


Amir Amin
Age: 18 Class: 2nd year
Amir found a place to hide in
the computer lab, but
couldnt escape the bullets

The screams of children


When Amir Amin rst heard gunshots, he thought
it was a routine exercise outside the school.
Within the next few seconds, the ring was
followed by sounds of children screaming and
crying. Amir rushed outside only to be met with a
terrible sight: armed men were ring
indiscriminately at students, many of whom were
his friends.
Amir found a place to hide in the computer lab, but
couldnt escape the bullets. One hit his leg, and he
waited in pain until police oicers rescued him. His
brother, Ishaq Amin, was killed during the attack.
Ive lost a ower-like son, says their mother, who
fears for Amir and her remaining childrens lives.

A bullet in the leg


Kashan Zaheer
Age: 17 Class: 10
I wish I had been martyred
with my friends

A bullet in the leg


After the third class of the day, Kashan Zaheer and his
friends made their way to the auditorium for a lecture
on rst aid. A few minutes later, the back door burst
open and bullets ew in all directions. Kashan realised
it was a real attack, and lay down under a chair seeking
cover.
[But] the militants red at the rows of chair under
which we were hiding. I saw several of my friends get
killed or injured, he says.
Kashan received a bullet in his leg while running out of
the auditorium. He was moved to a private hospital for
treatment soon after, but requires additional
operations to heal completely. But his mental health
continues to suer. Kashans mother says he cannot
concentrate and study like he used to, and occasionally
erupts in anger over small, petty issues. He often tells
her he wishes he had been martyred with his friends.

I used a muer as a bandage


Maaz Irfan
Age: 16 Class: 1st year
Ongoing treatment costs
have exceeded Rs 3 million

I used a muer as a bandage


Maaz Irfan was in the auditorium with Kashan,
waiting for the rst aid lecture to start. He
received three bullets in his arm seconds after the
militants stormed inside.
Once the militants left, Maaz limped over to his
classroom, where a younger boy wrapped his
muler around his arm as a bandage. They waited
in the room for two hours and placed cupboards
by the door to block anyone from coming in.
Maazs treatment costs more than the family can
aord. According to his family, the government
has provided Rs 1.5 million, while treatment costs
have exceeded Rs 3 million. If they do not get him
help soon, he could lose his hand permanently.

I have lost nine friends


Malik Hassan Awan
Age: 15 Class: 10
A bullet hit Maliks cap, but
he managed to run outside

I have lost nine friends


Malik had just settled down in the schools
auditorium when the ring started.
Realizing it wasnt an ordinary drill, Malik ran
towards the door with his friends. Two of them fell
on the way, and three others tried to escape but
were killed. A bullet hit Maliks cap but he
somehow managed to reach the main gate safely.
He immediately hailed a rickshaw and rushed
home.
Malik says he has recovered mentally, but he is
unable to forget the day and his friends. His
brother, Usama Tariq, was also killed in the attack.
When he hears the sound of ring now, he grows
frightened. I have lost nine friends. I cannot study
without pain in my head, he says.

Listening to the gunre for hours


Murtajiz Raza Bangash
Age: 12 Class: 7
Everything was covered with
blood, dead bodies were
scattered around

Listening to the gunre for hours


While the ambush went on outside, Murtajiz and
his classmates gathered inside their classroom
and shut themselves in. He thought it was a
regular drill for senior students, but soon realised
it was real ring.
For two hours, he had to stay quietly inside with
his friends and bear the terrible sounds coming
from outside. The ring didnt cease. I lost my
hearing for some time, he says.
Murtajiz remembers the army personnel showing
up hours after, and being rushed to the hospital
where everything was covered with blood, dead
bodies scattered around. He has resumed his
schooling now, and wants to join the
Pakistan Army to ght terrorists when he grows

up.

All we wanted was to escape


Obaid Sajjid
Age: 16 Class: 9
"I will continue my studies
and become an engineer"

All we wanted was to escape


Obaid was in the auditorium when the ring began. It
started like a drill, but the halls back door broke and
armed men entered the room. All we wanted to do was
escape, he says.
Obaid frantically made his way towards the other door
and was shot four times twice in each arm. He fell by
the gate and once the attackers moved out, ran to the
library to hide. He waited for two hours, unable to help
himself or his injured friends.
His arms are slowly recovering, and with further
treatment, Obaid should be healthy again. It was diicult
for him to resume school, not because of his injury, but
because several of his friends were martyred on the day.
In the rst few days I was worried and afraid, Obain
admits, But now I am completely ne and brave. I will
continue my studies and become an engineer.

We thought they were rubber bullets


Syed Ahsan Ali
Age: 15 Class: 10
Returning to school wasnt
easy as there were no
friends left

We thought they were rubber bullets


When ring started in the auditorium, Syed Ahsan Ali
and his friends like other students thought it was a
routine drill. We were laughing about it, thinking they
must be rubber bullets, he says.
As students began falling, Ahsan and his friends sought
cover under the chairs. Several of his friends, were
killed right there. Once the militants cleared out,
teachers gathered the students to rush outside. Ahsan
ran to the door, but when one of his friends fell while
running, he felt too scared to move.
Somehow he made it out alive. Im lucky, he says. At
least 40 of my friends were killed by militants.
Returning to school wasnt easy since he had no
friends left. But the incident brought in him a renewed
love for studying; now all he wants to do is become an
oicer and serve the country.