Sunday, December 21, 2014

Video - TIMMY T- One more try

Video - Weak rouble doesn't stop Russia's New Year shopping spree

Video - Kurds battle ISIL for control of Mount Sinjar

Video - North Korea threatens more cyber-attacks

Video - NYPD cops turn their backs on de Blasio

Syria - Assad tells Iran's Larijani he backs local truces

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad told a top official from key supporter Iran on Sunday that his government is working on "reconciliations" to end the brutal civil war, state news agency SANA said.
His government refers to local truces agreed between troops and rebels in several opposition-held areas as "national reconciliations".
However, Assad also told Ali Larijani, the speaker of parliament in Tehran, that Syria will continue to fight "terror" - a term the government has used for its opponents, both armed and peaceful, since the outbreak of a 2011 revolt.
"President Assad emphasised the Syrian people's determination to eradicate terrorism," said SANA, adding that he would also continue to press for "national reconciliations... all over Syrian territory".
In October, UN Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, announced a plan for a "freeze' in fighting in Syria and has since suggested that the northern city of Aleppo would be a "good candidate" for the strategy.
Since a rebel offensive in the summer of 2012, the city has been divided between government supports in the west and rebel-held areas in the east.
Last week, Mistura - who replaced Lakhdar Brahimi in July - and his deputy, Razmzi Ezzedine Ramzi, held talks in Damascus and Gaziantep to push for an Aleppo truce.
It was not immediately clear whether Assad, in his statements to Larijani on Sunday, was referring alone to the reconciliations between the Syrian government and various neighbourhoods and suburbs around the country - denounced by some critics as a way the government blackmails communities cut off from food or medical supplies - or also inclusive of Mistura's plan.
Since Mistura's plan was announced, the government has demanded that Aleppo's rebels hand over their weaponry and allow civil servants to return to areas in the government's control while opposition leaders have said they want a guarantee that the government won't use the Aleppo ceasefire to push its military presence elsewhere.
Larijani's visit comes less than a fortnight after Assad met a top Russian envoy who said Moscow is hoping to relaunch peace talks and that it could host a Syria-US meeting.
Russia and Iran are Assad's main allies, supplying him with financial, military and political support in his bid to crush the rebellion.
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Saudi Forces Kill 4 Anti-Regime Activists in Eastern Province

Regime forces in Saudi Arabia killed at least four people in the country’s volatile Eastern Province as Riyadh steps up its crackdown on dissent.
According to reports, the victims were anti-regime campaigners killed during a raid on the town of Awamiyah, press tv reported.
A number of people were also wounded when security forces stormed into Awamiyah in military vehicles and choppers while several arrests were made in the latest act of regime violence against activists in the kingdom.
The operation came after the Saudi Press Agency said one soldier was killed on December 14 near Awamiyah after an attack by "an unknown gunman firing from the farms".
Local residents have denied any role in the soldier's death and denounced such moves as part of the Saudi regime’s plans to intimidate them.
There have been numerous demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province since 2011, with the protesters calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination. Several people have been killed and many others injured or arrested during the demonstrations.
Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.
The Al Saud government has come under fire from international human rights organizations for failing to address the rights situation in the monarchy. They say Riyadh has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association, and assembly.

Report: ISIL kills 100 members trying to quit terror group

The ISIL terrorist group has reportedly killed 100 of its own foreign members who were purportedly trying to escape from their headquarters in Syria.
According to a Saturday report by the Financial Times newspaper, a Syria opposition source speaking on condition of anonymity said he had “verified 100 executions” of foreign ISIL militants in the city of Raqqa.
Militants belonging to the extremist group in Raqqa have spoken of a military police created to clamp down on foreign members who do not report for duty.
The report added that dozens of houses have been raided and many militants have been arrested.
British media in October reported that five Britons, three French, two Germans and two Belgians sought to come back home, but the terror group had imprisoned them.
Researchers at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King's College London have found out that in total, between 30 and 50 Britons want to return but fear jail.
According to a recent report by the UN Security Council, 15,000 people have flocked to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the ISIL or other such Takfiri groups. The report added that the militants come from more than 80 countries which had not contributed to international terrorism before.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly conflict since March 2011. Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are the main supporters of the militants operating inside Syria.
The ISIL terrorists currently control some parts of Syria and Iraq. They have been committing heinous crimes in the captured areas, including mass executions and beheadings.

Terror Has a British Accent in Syria’s ‘Little London’

An area of Syria is so heavily populated with British-born Jihadi fighters that it has been nicknamed ‘Little London’, according to a former hostage and aid worker.
Ahmed Walid Rashidi, a Danish aid worker, was one of the lucky few to be released by the Islamic State after being held captive for a month. He told the Sunday Times that the majority of foreign fighters have British or German accents. The town of Manbij in northern Syria was like a "little London or a little Berlin".
Britain's intelligence services estimate around 500 British-born Muslims have been radicalised and travelled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.
But it could be three times as much as that, according to Syrian political activist Danni Maki, who is researching Middle Eastern extremist groups. "It's very difficult to document the numbers going to Syria, the smallest number could be up to 700 but people also suggest 1,000 and other reports suggest 2,000, so we know that it's now between 1,000 and 2,000", says Maki.
Manbij and rural areas surrounding Aleppo are, according to Maki, so densely populated with foreign fighters that it's changing the demographics of the country and pushing large numbers of the original Syrian population out.
"Many of these areas inhabited with ISIS in the north of Syria have a large foreign population which has taken the original Syrians out of the picture and created a new society", says Danni Maki. "There are up to 8,000 families who have moved from the West to Raqqa which has made a huge change on the dynamics on the area. It's a reality in northern Syria unfortunately.
‘Little London', the area claimed to be heavily populated with British Jihadis, is not far away from the border with Turkey, which according to Maki is why it is popular with European fighters. He says it's no surprise the area is home to the majority of English speaking foreign Jihadis.
"The UK has one of the largest numbers of jihadi fighters in Syria who have committed some of the worst atrocities in Syria which has sent tremors through Westminster. Britain has the worst rate in the whole of Europe for the number of foreign fighters in Syria."
But Maki says it's the return of these British Jihadis that pose the greatest threat to the UK. "Even more dangerous is that 250 of these extremists have already returned. This is creating real fear in the security services in the UK. Not long ago we saw three Britons making an ISIS video and this became a huge media storm which reflects the growing fear that the radicalisation and extremism in Syria and Iraq will manifest in the UK on the streets in the future", says Maki.
He is not alone in suggesting that the fallout of further radicalisation of British Jihadis will be felt on the streets in Britain. Former head of London's Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Unit, Cressida Dick, had also warned that the consequences of the war in Syria would be felt in Britain for years to come.

The Kremlin's foreign policy gamble in 2014: Implications and expectations

With Russia losing traditional and reliable partners in Europe, it is trying to find new ones in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Yet can these “new allies” satisfy Moscow’s trade requirements and replace the partners Russia has lost over its schism with the West?

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov chat before their meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper before at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok in 2012. Photo: AFP
With 2014 coming to an end, the results of Russia’s controversial foreign policy this year are becoming even more conspicuous. Not only did Moscow spoil its relations with the U.S. in 2014, but also with its traditional allies in Europe, particularly with France and Germany, as indicated by the Mistral case with France and the failure of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin to see eye to eye.
Crimea’s accession to Russia, the Kremlin’s alleged support of separatists in Eastern Ukrainethe downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 – all this contributed to dividing European countries in their assessment of Russia’s policy in Ukraine and the sanctions war between the Kremlin and the West.   
Likewise, Eastern European countries, and particularly, the Visegrad group, or V4 (an alliance of four Central European states – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) were split. With Poland insisting on a tougher response to Russia’s policy in Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary were hesitant to support sanctions and reluctant to blame Moscow because of their economic and political links, as well as energy reliance on Russia.
Russia’s foreign policy resulted in a split even among close and long-standing partners like Serbia and Bulgaria, which seem to be vacillating over how to respond to Russia’s policy in Ukraine. Under the pressure from the European Union, Serbia is faced with a challenge: It should join the Western-led sanctions campaign against Russia if Belgrade wants to join the EU.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria, previously described by experts as Moscow’s Trojan Horse,suspended the South Stream energy project in June 2014 as one of the key transit points for the gas line. The lack of certainty over the South Stream pipeline finally led to the closure of the project in early December, initiated by the Kremlin    
Germany and France are also showing signs of indignation toward Russia’s foreign policy, as well as solidarity with the U.S. in its response to the Kremlin’s role in the Ukrainian crisis. The recent suspension of the Mistral warship delivery to Russia indicates that Paris is not going to support the Kremlin despite the fact that French President François Hollande is the first senior Western leader to have paid an official visit to Moscow since the incorporation of Crimea into Russia. 
Likewise, there is a noticeable chill in Russian-German relations, with Merkel failing to find common ground with Putin and remaining intransigent in rebuking Russia over its gamble in eastern Ukraine. Even though German society is divided in its assessments of the prospects of Russian-German relations, there are increasing debates over the possibility of a cold war between Germany and Russia.
Steven Pifer, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and Brookings Senior Fellow at Center on the United States and Europe, agrees that “one of the unintended but major consequences of Russia’s illegal seizure of Crimea and its intervention in eastern Ukraine has been the setback in Russian relations with Europe (as well as the United States).”
As a result of its Ukraine policy, Russia is seen as a security threat: Berlin – which until now has been pursuing its Ostpolitik, the eastern approach that underpinned the German-Russian relationship before the Crimea precedent and the downing of MH17 – appears to be reassessing its fundamental policy to the Kremlin, Pifer added. 
“While Chancellor Merkel keeps lines of communication open to President Putin, she has emerged as a leader within Europe for a tough response toward Russia until it alters its course on Ukraine,” he told Russia Direct.
So, while losing its partners in Europe, Russia makes no bones about its turn to Asia, the Middle East and Latin America in attempt to persuade the West that it is not isolated and has numerous partners. Putin’s visits to IndiaTurkey in DecemberChina in May andLatin America in July look like a clear gesture from Russia, demonstrating that it can make do without the West.
Likewise, Russia is attempting to establish closer ties with Iran amidst its schism with the West, as indicated by the conference held in Moscow on Nov. 25 on “Development of Strategic Partnership between Russia and Iran" organized jointly by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), the Center for Energy and Security Studies, the Iranian Embassy in Moscow and the Institute of Iran Eurasian Studies (IRAS), Tehran.
The conference brought together leading Russian and Iranian pundits and diplomats in a quest both to broaden and deepen bilateral relations in light of their shared interests and the common challenges (sanctions) they face. In particular, both are interested in energy security and so-called multipolarity, the term that became a sort of a buzzword for Russia’s Foreign Ministry in its PR campaign to account for its recent foreign policy initiatives to undermine the United States’ global influence and political heft.      
Who will replace Moscow’s lost partners in the EU?
With Moscow trying to find allies in Asia and the Middle East, several questions remain unanswered.
Will the Kremlin’s allies be able to minimize the consequences of the Russian rupture with the West? To what extent will the relations with them be sustainable in 2015? Will these countries remain interested in collaboration with a weaker Russia and prefer it over the partnership with West?  
Jack Goldstone, a political expert and professor at George Mason University, points out that Russia has always sought strong relationships with Central Asia, and was engaged in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the BRICS group well before this summer’s difficulties with Europe.
“But Russia is now trying to deepen and strengthen ties in Asia and the Middle East more than ever to offset the losses of business with Europe,” he said, pointing out that Russia might succeed “only to some degree” in this turn.
According to Goldstone, Russia is able to replace certain raw materials markets and strategic alliances by invigorating its ties with Turkey, India, and China. However, he highlights, Russia also needs capital and technical and academic expertise, and “these can NOT so easily be obtained outside of Europe and North America.”
“Turkey and India themselves are in dire need of capital, and have weaker educational systems than Russia,” Goldstone explains. “China has plenty of capital and plenty of expertise, but needs its capital internally and is also keen to invest in Africa and Iran and elsewhere, and lacks some of the specific expertise (e.g. Arctic oil exploration, tight oil extraction, innovation-based entrepreneurship) that Russia needs most.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens during voting in the Federation Council during a session in the Russian parliament's upper chamber in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 21, 2014. Photo:AP
Likewise, Pifer raises eyebrows at the possibility of deep and extensive ties between Russia and China, India and Turkey. They “might work” with Russia on trade, but “they are unlikely to ally with Moscow, and they won’t “displace Europe in trade terms.”
“In 2013, EU-Russia trade was more than four times Russia-China trade, and more than 15 times Russia-Turkey trade,” Pifer said, echoing Andrei Kortunov, general director of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), who also points to this fact.
Even though Asia and the Middle East do matter for Russia’s foreign policy, Moscow should abandon its deep-seated illusion that there is an opportunity to switch from its Western partners to eastern ones, Kortunov warns. According to him, Russia’s partnership with its “new allies” should be based on positive aspects: teaming up not against somebody, but for the sake of the understanding of mutual interest and benefits.
“Russia’s new allies in the Middle East and Asia should not replace, but rather should be an addition to our traditional partners, including those in the zone of the European Union,” he said.
Mikhail Troitskiy, an international affairs analyst and an associate professor at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), echoes his view. He sees no clear evidence of the willingness of “Russia's supposed ‘new partners’ to engage in preferential relationship with Moscow because of the crisis in Russia's relations with the West.”
“In most cases, Russia's ‘new partners’ pursue their own – mainly economic – agendas, while considerations of ‘standing up to U.S. dictates’ take the backstage as a motivation for engaging with Russia,” he said.
In fact, Troitskiy is doubtful that Russia aims at replacing its EU partners with other ones elsewhere. If there are promising bonds and benefits to Moscow from cooperation with Asia or the Middle East, they had to be expanded irrespective of Russia's relations with the U.S. or the EU.
“I do not think that the ‘partner replacement’ logic works in contemporary international relations,” he said. “Such logic can only be applied – albeit with limited effect – to military alliances. If we are talking about trade, other forms of economic engagement, and even diplomatic coordination, ‘replacing’ one set of failing relationships with another simply makes no sense. There was never any reason why Russia should not have been developing ties with potential partners in the Middle East or [the] Asia Pacific [region] before its conflict with the West over Ukraine started.”
Are the Middle East and Asia really eager to team up with Moscow?
Even though Moscow made several attempts to woo the Asian and Middle East countries, there is still a lack of certainty over whether these “new allies” are eager to team up with Moscow and sacrifice their relations with the U.S. (Washington is unequivocal about its insistence and pressure on other countries to join their campaign against Russia’s policy in Ukraine).
According to Pifer, although these countries are interested in doing business with Russia, they are hardly likely to put at stake “their far larger business relations with the West.” He gives the example of China.  
“The European Union and United States are China’s first and second largest trading partners, accounting for some 30 percent of China’s overall trade. Russia does not even figure in the top ten of Chinese trading partners,” Pifer said, pointing out that “Moscow holds a weak hand” in its relations with Beijing.   
However, Kortunov believes that countries such as India and China are hardly likely to yield to U.S. pressure. He sees them as “independent players of world politics” that have no reason to join the U.S. campaign against the Kremlin. Yet those countries that have economic and political links with Washington will yield, as in the case of Japan, which has imposed sanctions against Russia.
“Japan was forced to support sanctions due to its geostrategic and geopolitical positions,” Kortunov said. "Tokyo wants to develop its relations with Russia, yet it has to be in solidarity with the U.S.”

Video - Obama: Back and forth between racial divides

Obama Condemns Murder of NYPD Officers


U.S. President Barack Obama denounced the close-range shooting deaths of two New York City police officers in an ambush earlier threatened in an online posting.
“I unconditionally condemn today’s murder of two police officers in New York City,” Obama said in a statement yesterday from Hawaii, where he is spending the Christmas holiday with his family. “Two brave men won’t be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a press conference last night, called the execution-style killings of Officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, a “despicable act.” Police CommissionerWilliam Bratton said the officers were “quite simply, assassinated.”
Ramos and Liu were sitting in their vehicle near Myrtle and Tompkins avenues in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn when Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, walked up from behind, took a shooting stance and opened fire on the passenger side at about 2:47 p.m., Bratton said.
“They may never actually have seen their assailant,” he said. The officers were taken to the Woodhull Medical Center, where De Blasio and Bratton held last night’s press conference.
Bratton described how Brinsley earlier in the day shot his ex-girlfriend in the Baltimore area before writing “very anti-police” postings on social media. At approximately 2:45 p.m., Baltimore authorities sent a warning flier. “Tragically, this was essentially at the same time that our officers were being ambushed and murdered by Brinsley,” he said.
The assailant fled into a subway station, where he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on the platform, Bratton said.
De Blasio said New York “is in mourning.” “Our hearts are heavy,” he added.

North Korea says it did not hack Sony

Obama says Sony hack not an act of war

U.S. President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism.
Washington's long-standing dispute with North Korea, which for years has centered on its nuclear weapons program, has entered new territory with the accusation that Pyongyang carried out an assault on a major Hollywood entertainment company.
Obama and his advisers are weighing a range of options on how to punish North Korea for the attack after the FBI concluded on Friday that Pyongyang was responsible. North Korea has denied it was to blame.
The hack attack and subsequent threats of violence against theaters showing the film prompted Sony to withdraw a comedy, "The Interview," prepared for release to movie theaters during the holiday season. The movie depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Obama and free speech advocates criticized the studio's decision, but Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton defended it.
Obama put the hack in the context of a crime.
"No, I don't think it was an act of war," he told CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" show, which was taped on Friday and aired on Sunday. "I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately."
Obama said one option was to return North Korea to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, from which Pyongyang was removed six years ago.
At a time when so much information is digitized, "both state and non-state actors are going to have the capacity to disrupt our lives in all sorts of ways," he said.
"We have to do a much better job of guarding against that. We have to treat it like we would treat, you know, the incidence of crime, you know, in our countries."
Republican Senator John McCain disagreed with Obama, telling CNN the attack was the manifestation of a new kind of warfare.
Republican Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, criticized Obama for embarking on a two-week vacation in Hawaii on Friday without responding to the attack.
"You've just limited your ability to do something," Rogers told Fox News Sunday. "I would argue you're going to have to ramp up sanctions. It needs to be very serious. Remember - a nation-state was threatening violence."
North Korea has been subject to U.S. sanctions for more than 50 years, but they have had little effect on its human rights policies or its development of nuclear weapons. Experts say the nation has become expert in hiding its often criminal money-raising activities, largely avoiding traditional banks.
North Korea said on Saturday that U.S. accusations that it was involved in the Sony attack were "groundless slander" and that it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States. It said it could prove it had nothing to do with the attack.
The White House said on Saturday it remained confident North Korea was responsible.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said Pyongyang's actions fell "outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior."
Obama says North Korea appeared to have acted alone. Washington began consultations with Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, seeking their assistance in reining in North Korea.
Japan and South Korea said they would cooperate. China, North Korea's only major ally, has yet to respond, but a Beijing-run newspaper said "The Interview" was not a movie for Hollywood or U.S. society to be proud of.
It was the first time the United States had directly accused another country of a cyberattack of such magnitude on American soil and set up the possibility of a new confrontation between longtime foes Washington and Pyongyang.
U.S. experts say Obama's options in punishing North Korea could include cyber-retaliation, financial sanctions, criminal indictments against individuals implicated in the attack or even a boost in U.S. military support to South Korea, which is still technically at war with the North.
But the effect of any response would be limited, given North Korea's isolation and the heavy sanctioned already in place for its nuclear program.

Turkish police use force to break up pro-secular education rally

Turkish police have moved in to forcibly break up a demonstration in the capital, Ankara. The authorities said the protest, organized by a teachers' union, was illegal.
Demonstration gegen die Bildungspolitik der AKP in Ankara 20.12.2014
Police used pepper spray, tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators who had assembled in the Kizilay district of Ankara on Saturday. Some reports said as many as 100 people had been arrested by police, including the head of the Egitim-Is teachers' union, Veli Demir.
A video posted on the website of Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper showed protesters, some of whom were holding large banners, being driven back by the flow of water coming from water cannons mounted on police trucks. Later, what appear to be dozens of protesters are led away by police officers wearing riot gear.
The union organized the rally to demonstrate in favor of secularism in Turkey's education system, as required by the country's constitution.
Some fear that this could be threatened by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who founded the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party. He has recently made statements on education, which some have interpreted as a signal that he is planning to bring more religion into the classrooms.
Last year, Turkey's parliament lifted a long-standing ban on Islamic headscarves in the civil service and this past September, it removed a ban on female students wearing them in high schools.
At odds with the EU
Erdogan has also faced growing international criticism in recent months. Leading up to local elections in March, while he was still prime minister, Erdogan manged to temporarily ban the social media websites Twitter and YouTube, after they were used to disseminate tapped compromising phone calls that cast corruption suspicions on members of his inner circle. The bans were subsequently overturned by Turkey's constitutional court.
More recently, he has been at loggerheads with the European Union, which Turkey is seeking to join, over the arrests of more than 20 people, including the editor of Turkey's biggest-selling newspaper.Those arrested have links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is Erdogan's former political ally but is now his arch foe.
The EU's foreign policy coordinator, Federica Mogherini, and Englargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, condemned the raids ass "incompatible with the freedom of the media."

#PeshawarAttack - Voices of grief and determination in Peshawar

Taliban gunmen killed 141 people - most of them children - at a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar earlier this week. There are many emotions among the bereaved and the survivors.
You didn't need to see the pools of blood in every corner of the school auditorium to know that a massacre had taken place there.
A thick smell hit you as you went in; the eerie silence of the shocked adults looking at the remnants of the children's belongings strewn around itself told a devastating story.
Almost every row of seats in this school hall bore a similar picture of horror - the blood-splattered textbooks, the school shoes left behind in a desperate attempt to escape, scattered bits of paper on which you could see the children's handwriting.
This is where the Taliban gunmen stormed in and shot more than 100 pupils at close range.
The students were in the hall learning about first aid when the attack happened. One corner of the room bears scorch marks: that's where the militants set fire to one of the teachers.
When I arrived at the Lady Reading Hospital, where many of the victims were taken, I could see a group of parents and family members gathering in front of a wall, pushing to get to the front.
A list of names had been stuck up on the wall. Names of the dead and injured.
As the day went on the list grew longer and the crowd around it grew bigger - all of them desperate to find out what had happened to their loved ones.
In the hospital's intensive care unit, I found 13-year-old Saeed lying on a bed, his family next to him.
He was still too shocked to talk about what had happened.
His mother Naheda is a teacher at the school.
She tells me Saeed hid under a chair and called her as the attack began.
"I heard everything," she tells me.
"My son was on the phone. He said 'I'm shot, please come and get me.' And I didn't know how to reach him. As a mother - I can't describe to you what I felt," she tells me through her tears, adding: "But Alhamdulillah, thank God, he's now here with me."
But many other parents are now having to live with the fact that their loved ones are not coming back. Like the Awan family, whose 14-year-old son Abdullah was shot in the face during the attack.
At the family courtyard the female relatives gathered around the boy's body which was lying in an open coffin. His slim body was covered in flowers and I could clearly see the bullet marks on his face.
His mother sits on the floor weeping, wiping his forehead, holding his hand, still calling out his name.
This is a family gripped by grief, wailing relatives, small children looking on in disbelief.
At the local graveyard the male relatives recite verses from the Koran and pray for Abdullah before laying him to rest.
"He was a top student," his uncle tells me.
"He loved birds, he had a couple of them at home and one of them laid eggs. He was counting the days for them to hatch but now he's gone."
After the funeral I talk to the boy's father about his loss.
"He's now with Allah," the man said, "and I have to be patient. I don't feel anything now. All these people are around me, they are supporting me. But it will hit me tonight. When I'm in bed all alone."
In the days after the attack the crowds gathering at the school gate grew larger and larger.
The gates began to resemble a shrine with roses, marigolds, candles and placards.
There were messages of grief and solidarity. The smallest coffins are the heaviest, one sign says. My boy was my dream and my dream was shot dead, says another.
A group of teenagers from the Army Public School was gathering there.
They came dressed in their uniforms.
Aakif Azeem, one of the senior students, still had some spots of blood on his jacket. He had survived the attack but he tells me he saw many fellow students die in front of him.
"I've been going from one funeral to another," he says.
"I haven't slept for two days," he adds.
So, could he face going back to school after what had happened, I wondered.
"That's why I came here today dressed in my uniform," he told me.
It's a message to those who carried out the attack. You can take my friends. You can take my teachers. But I am still here. In my uniform. And I will go back to school.