Pakistanis pray, resolve to fight terror at stricken school

Pakistanis pray, resolve to fight terror at stricken school

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Thousands of Pakistanis flocked to a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Sunday to mourn the 149 people - mainly children - massacred by the Taliban and demand action against militants.

Men, women and children from Peshawar and other cities visited the army-run institution to offer prayers for those killed in the country's deadliest-ever terror attack.

Pakistan has described Tuesday's bloody rampage as its own "mini 9/11", calling it a game-changer in the fight against extremism.

Mourners placed flowers, bouquets, placards and lighted candles at various places in the school in front of photos of murdered students.

Masons laid bricks and poured cement to raise the height of the wall around the Army Public School as mourners chanted slogans such as "Death to terrorists", "Long live Pakistan army", "The blood of martyrs will not go waste" and "Taliban are savages".

"What kind of a person can kill a child?" asked local resident Imdad Hussain, who came to pray for the children.

"What kind of justice is this, what kind of Islam is this?" he asked, urging the government swiftly to wipe out terrorists.

A local woman who had covered her face with a shawl said parents had thought their sons and daughters would be safe in school. But now they believed their children were not safe anywhere.

"First they attacked mosques, then markets and now they have started attacking schools. We cannot tolerate this. We can die, but we will not let our children be killed," she said.

Shugufta Bibi, 28, told AFP her friend lost his son in Tuesday's attack and she had come to pay respects to his memory.

"I demand that the government close in on the terrorists and hang them in public," Bibi said.

Tributes and condolences poured in on social media websites Facebook and Twitter.

After the attack Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ended a six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating its use for terrorism-related cases.

Two militants convicted of separate offences were the first to face the noose.

Human Rights Watch termed the executions "a craven politicised reaction to the Peshawar killings" and demanded that no further hangings be carried out.

 

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