By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, December 16, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) called the Taliban terrorist fighters in Pakistan who executed 132 children at their school “barbarous.”
Representative Roby said, “My heart is with the grieving families affected by the unconscionable Taliban attack on the Peshawar school today. We once again see how far these barbarous individuals are willing to go and just how much of a danger they are to peace and security. I pray that these families find comfort in this difficult time and that we never relent in working to defeat such evil.”
The Taliban are an Islamo/Fascist extremist group that operates in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan. The group had conquered much of Afghanistan before being overthrown by the United States military and its Northern Alliance allies. The group has been fighting a guerilla war with the United States and the Afghan government since late 2001.
Winning a complete victory against the group has proven impossible, since the group has been able to flee across the border in Pakistan, where it regroups and resupplies in that country’s tribal areas. Pakistan has been widely criticized for allowing the group to run roughshod over large swaths of the “tribal area.”
Since 2009, the Pakistan Taliban has engaged in hundreds of attacks on schools and school children. Taliban gunmen severely wounded Malala Yousafzai in 2009 on her way to school because she advocated for girls to receive education. The Pakistani teenager is history’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. After last week’s Nobel ceremony, the Taliban renounced her as an “enemy of Islam” and vowed to step up their attacks on Pakistan’s education system.
They kept their promise on Tuesday when Taliban gunmen attacked the school in the city of Peshawar, killing 132 students and 16 staff including the principal. Previously the Taliban has attacked empty schools damaging the building. This time they attacked the children at the school which is run by the Pakistan military.
Since June, the Pakistani military has been engaged in an offensive called Operation Zarb-e-Azb or “Sharp Strike” to drive the Taliban out of the country’s mountainous northwest. Many of the children of Pakistani soldiers attend the Army Public School in Peshawar, which is in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
In a press statement, the National Commission for Justice and Peace of Pakistan’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference condemned the Peshawar killing as “one of the most horrific and inhumane acts.” The Commission’s executive director Cecil Shane Chaudhry said, “This is a barbaric, inhuman and cowardly act. It is beyond imagination how innocent children of army personnel could be targeted like this.”
The Taliban claim that the killings are in retaliation for militant families who have died in the military offensive.
According to original reporting by Anto Akkara, seven heavily armed Taliban insurgents entered the school posing as army officers before going on the shooting rampage. All seven assailants were eventually killed by army members who rushed to the scene.
This was the largest terrorist attack in Pakistani history, surpassing a twin suicide-bomb attack on a Sunday worship service at All Saints’ Church also in Peshawar, belonging to the Church of Pakistan. That attack killed 127 and wounded 250 Christians.
Even some rival factions within the Taliban have condemned the attack on the school.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
Original reporting by the Daily Caller and the National Catholic Register have contributed to this report.