Peshawar school attack kills 132 children; PM Modi appeals to Indian schools to observe 2 mins silence

An injured Pakistani student at a Peshawar hospital.

New Delhi/Islamabad, Dec 16: In the wake of Pakistani Taliban attack on Peshawar school that killed 132 students, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to all schools in India to observe two minutes of silence on Wednesday as a mark of solidarity for the “senseless act of unspeakable brutality” in Peshawar.

Announcing this on Twitter on Tuesday, Modi wrote: “In the wake of dastardly attack in Pakistan, I appeal to schools across India to observe 2 mins of silence tomorrow as a mark of solidarity.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the ​Prime Minister Narendra condemned the terror attack at a school in Peshawar, saying: “Strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack at a school in Peshawar. It is a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings – young children in their school. My heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. We share their pain and offer our deepest condolences.”

He also spoke on telephone to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif late in Tuesday evening soon after Prime Minister Sharif returned from Peshawar to Islamabad.

He said the people of India shared the heart-rending pain and sorrow of the bereaved families and the people of Pakistan and stood with them in solidarity in this hour of immeasurable grief. He also hoped that the children who had witnessed the horrific attack and loss of their friends would come through this trauma through counselling.

He told Prime Minister Sharif that this moment of shared pain and mourning is also a call for our two countries and all those who believe in humanity to join hands to decisively and comprehensively defeat terrorism, so that the children in Pakistan, India and elsewhere do not have to face a future darkened by the lengthening shadow of terrorism.

Peshwar Scool attack

The banned terrorist outfit Tehrik-i- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Tuesday launched a savage and cowardly attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, killing 132 students. By the time the nine-hour siege ended, 141 people including the terrorists were killed.

It was the worst attack on children anywhere in the world since the Beslan mass killing by Chechen Islamist rebels in 2004.

According to reports, the terrorists stormed the Peshawar school dressed as Frontier Corps’ officers. One of the militants reportedly blew himself up, while the others were gunned down by security agencies.

Hundreds of people were taken hostage within the school premises before the terrorists were eliminated. However, the presence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) throughout the school reportedly hampered the speed of the evacuation of the hostages.

Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asim Bajwa took to twitter to express his grief at the attack, adding that the terrorists were the enemies of humanity.

The Dawn reported that the Pakistani Army carried out several retaliatory strikes against militants based in the Khyber region of the Islamic Republic. Major General Bajwa confirmed the same via a tweet.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reportedly called for an all-parties conference in Peshawar and said that the nation will undergo a three-day mourning period in wake of the deadly attack. Sharif also announced a compensation package for the families of the victims.

Condemning the terror strike, the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “The people of Pakistan are deeply shocked and grieved at the despicable act of terrorism in a Peshawar school this morning. The terrorists have once again shown that they have no regard for human life and no respect for children. Such cold blooded cowardly acts cannot weaken resolve of people of Pakistan.”

The ministry also reaffirmed that the country will remain united in the condemnation of the terror attack.

According to reports, the terror group in statement said that a school was targeted because the Pakistani Army targets their families
and they wanted the army to feel their pain.

Meanwhile, TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said the attackers were instructed to target the older students but not the younger ones.

Leaders across the world expressed shock at the terror attack, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, British Prime Minister David Cameron and United States Secretary of State John Kerry among those who condemned the attack and expressed grief over the loss of life in the attack.

(With Agency Inputs)

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