Survivors reflect as Pakistan mourns "Black day" (16 December), when Taliban militants stormed inside an army-run school killing at least 132 schoolchildren.

The attack began at approximately 10am (Pakistan time) when Taliban gunmen, disguised as army officers, entered the Army Public School and Degree College from the back, which was the less guarded entrance.

Shooting indiscriminately as soon as the militants entered the school's main auditorium, it was clear they were there to cause maximum damage.

"We were in the education hall when militants barged in, shooting. Our instructor asked us to duck and lay down and then I saw militants walking past rows of students shooting them in the head," said Zeeshan, a student who survived the attack, reported The New York Times.

Operated by the military, the Army Public School in Peshawar, had students from both military and civilian backgrounds.

Sixteen-year-old Salman recalls how he survived by playing dead.

"Someone screamed at us to get down and hide below the desks. Then one of them [militants] shouted: 'here are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them'. I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches," recalled Salman from the trauma ward of Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital, reported Dawn news.

"I folded my tie and pushed it into my mouth so that I wouldn't 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.

"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."

Following the attack, schools across Peshawar were immediately put on lockdown, while desperate parents frantically awaited news on the fate of their children.

It was through a list of dead students published at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar that many of the parents found out whether or not their children had survived the brutal attack.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced three days of mourning. "These terrorists are enemies of Pakistan, enemies of Islam and enemies of humanity," read a statement from Pakistan's foreign ministry.