Pakistani officials say that about t 100 people, 80 of who are pupils, have been killed by Taliban fighters, who overran a school in Peshawar.
Aside the children, teachers and a paramilitary soldier were killed during the assault. Few militants wearing security uniforms entered the school, officials said.
Gunfire and explosions were heard as security forces surrounded the area. Most of the school's 500 students have been evacuated.
A Taliban spokesman says the assault was a reprisal in response to army operations. Hundreds of Taliban fighters are thought to have died in a recent military offensive in North Waziristan and the nearby Khyber area.
A school worker and a student interviewed said the attackers had entered the school's auditorium, where a military team was conducting first-aid training for students.
Mudassir Awan, a worker at the school, said: "As soon as the firing started, we ran to our classrooms, they were entering every class and were killing the children," Awan said.