By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Pakistani officials say more than 140 people, most of them children, were killed in a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar this morning. The attack has drawn international condemnation -- President Obama called it "depraved."
The Taliban appears to have targeted two of its chief enemies: education and the military. Most of the first- through tenth-graders killed in the attack on the Army Public School were the children of young Pakistani military officers.
Philadelphia businessman Raza Bokhari, who is the international spokesman for former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, says the attack was in retaliation for military success in routing Taliban forces.
"They are on the run and this is an act of desperation," he tells KYW Newsradio. "This is a vicious set of people who will stop at nothing. These are non-state actors. These are militant groups (but) they don't follow any rules of engagement in warfare. There is no negotiation with these barbaric militants. They should be crushed by the use of military force. The Pakistan military must hunt them down and kill them."
Bokhari says it's different from previous Taliban anti-education attacks, such as the one on Malala Yousafzai (who has since won a Nobel Peace Prize and Philadelphia's Liberty Medal), but it summons the words of her Liberty Medal acceptance speech here in October:
"Why do children have to suffer from wars? What crime have they committed? You see children dying, being killed every day, but when you ask what they did, they did nothing. In Islam, every girl and every boy is allowed to get an education, so there are some groups who are misusing the name of Islam for their own personal benefits. Because Islam is a religion of peace."
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