Taliban militants who stormed the army school in Pakistan's Peshawar killing dozens of children did not intend to take anyone hostage and sprayed bullets at people indiscriminately, authorities said.
The singular aim of the attackers was to kill as many as possible in the deadly attack which claimed the lives of at least 132 children and nine school staff members, said military spokesperson Asim Bajwa during a press conference. More than 125 people were injured in the bloodshed.
"Terrorists started firing indiscriminately. They entered the auditorium as the students were given their monthly exams. Their sole purpose, it seems, was to kill those innocent kids. That's what they did," said Bajwa.
During the eight-hour killing spree the Taliban Islamists are said to have gone from one room to another systematically killing school children.
"They started shooting the moment they entered the school premises. No one could have imagined that terrorists would have targeted innocent children like this."
All the seven militants who stormed the school building were wearing suicide vests and were carrying food packets as well.
Out of 1099 school children registered at the school, 960 were rescued from the building.
Peshawar residents have begun to bury the dead. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has declared three days of mourning in the country. Tributes have been pouring in from across the world.
The Pakistan military has pledged the continuation of anti-terror operations until the last militant faces justice.
Sharif is set to host a meeting which will be attended by all parliamentary parties to show solidarity against terrorists.
"These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation's loss," said Sharif.