Taliban gunmen have killed at least 84 school children and left dozens more seriously wounded.

The shocking attack happened in Peshawar in Pakistan in an army-run school.

According to officials, six men stormed the school after it was surrounded by soldiers.

A soldier leads rescued children to safety

A soldier leads rescued children to safety

It is thought that approximately 500 children and teachers were inside the school at the time of the attack; many of the pupils were sitting exams at the time.  At least one soldier and one female teacher were killed in the exchange of gunfire.

Wounded pupil and witness, Abdullah Jamal, who was shot in the leg, said that several year groups were receiving first aid training from a  team of Pakistani army medics when the violence erupted:

“I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet,” he told reporters from his hospital bed.

“All the children had bullet wounds. All the children were bleeding.”

A Taliban spokesman said it was “revenge” for an army offensive against the Taliban in North Waziristan:

“Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions not to harm the children, but to target the army personnel.”