Report: Alleged Mastermind Behind Pakistan School Attack Killed in Raid

Report: Alleged Mastermind Behind Pakistan School Attack Killed in Raid
Source: AP
Source: AP

The alleged planner of the recent deadly attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, is now dead, according to intelligence officials.

A top government official in the Khyber tribal region told CBS News that security forces, acting on intelligence information, conducted a raid Thursday night that escalated into a gun battle with the militant commander, known as "Saddam," and his accomplices. 

According to The Independent, "[Shahab Ali Shah, head of police administration in the Khyber tribal area] said Saddam helped plan the Peshawar school attack and was also involved in attacks on health workers giving out polio vaccinations in the Peshawar valley."

At least 132 students and nine staff members were killed this month when Taliban gunmen stormed a military school in Peshawar, taking hundreds of students at the Army Public School hostage in one of the bloodiest insurgent attacks to strike Pakistan in years.  


The raid came following alleged missile strikes from two U.S. drones on Friday. They fired missiles at militant hideouts in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, killing at least seven fighters, Reuters reports. The attacks took place "in the same area where the Pakistani army has been mounting an air-and-ground operation against Pakistani Taliban insurgents who are fighting against the government in order to set up a sharia state in Pakistan," the newswire states.

While drone strikes by U.S. forces are wildly unpopular in Pakistan, and seen as a violation of the government's territorial sovereignty, the desire for revenge in the wake of December's deadly school attack may soften those anxieties. The Pakistani prime minister's office announced the day after the school attack that the country would lift its 2008 moratorium on the death penalty (but only in response to terrorism), and government officials have hanged at least six people in two separate executions since.

h/t CBS News

Editor's Note: Feb. 12, 2015

An earlier version of this article failed to cite a passage from The Independent in accordance with Mic editorial standards. The article has been updated to properly attribute the language to The Independent.