"You can only kill them [students] over my dead body". Those were a teacher’s words to terrorists before they doused her in kerosene and burnt her to death.
A female teacher who tried to protect her pupils from Taliban terrorists who attacked the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan, yesterday, Afsha Ahmed, was burnt alive.
Shocking eye witness accounts emerging after the attack reveal that the 24-year-old was doused with petrol and set ablaze while her pupils watched.
Afsha reportedly confronted the terrorists when they entered their classroom.
"You can only kill my students over my dead body," she reportedly said.
One of her pupils who witnessed her execution, Irfan Ullah, said even as Afsha burned, she managed to ask her terrified pupils to flee.
"She was a hero, so brave. She jumped up and stood between us and the terrorists before they could target us," 15-year-old Ullah said.
"She warned them: "You can only kill them over my dead body".
"I remember her last words - she said: "I won't see my students lying in blood on the floor"."
Ullah himself did not escape unhurt, suffering serious injuries to his chest and stomach.
But all his thoughts were on the heroics of his teacher.
"'I felt so selfish as we ran away to safe our lives instead of trying to save our teacher who sacrificed her life for our better tomorrow," Ullah added.
At least 142 people were slaughtered by seven Taliban jihadists who scaled a back wall into the military-run school with guns and explosives on Tuesday morning.
US President Barack Obama described the attacks as a sign of the terrorists' 'depravity'.
Also, India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, took to Twitter to encourage schools in his country to observe two minutes of silence “as a mark of solidarity."