Jihadis declare open season on school children

At least 141, including 132 children, were killed in an attack by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants on an army-run school in Peshawar Dec. 16. Almost 250 are reported wounded in the assault on the Army Public School and College, many of them very seriously. The six attackers, all wearing suicide vests, are said to be dead. The students at the school are the children of army soliders, and the TTP said in a statement the attack  "in retaliation against" the military’s ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb agianst Taliban strongholds in North Waziristan. A TTP spokesman told reporters by phone: "Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions not to harm the children, but to target the army personnel." But the gunmen went from room to room shooting every student they found, most of them in the head. Even Afghanistan's Taliban issued a statement decrying the attack as "un-Islamic." Pakistan's military immediately retaliated with air-strikes on presumed TTP targets in Khyber Agency. (Al Jazeera, AP, BBC News, AJCDawn, Pakistan, Dec. 17)

That same day, at least 25, including 15 children, were killed in twin car-bomb attack in Yemen's central governorate of Bayda. The children were in a school bus that was passing a Shi'ite Houthi rebel checkpoint in the Radaa area when the first bomb exploded. The second blast went off shortly afterwards near the home of a Houthi leader. The rebels blamed Sunni militants of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for the attacks. (BBC News, Dec. 16)

Deadly blast kills at least 30 in Yemen

At least 30 were killed and many injured by a blast outside a police college in Yemen's capital, Sanaa. A car bomb was detonated beside people lining to enrol in the police force (BBC News)