Pakistan marks 3rd anniversary of school massacre

On Dec. 16, 2014, militants stormed school in Peshawar, NW Pakistan, killing over 140 schoolchildren and teachers

Pakistan marks 3rd anniversary of school massacre

World Bulletin / News Desk

The third anniversary of a deadly school attack in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar that claimed the lives of over 140 people, mostly schoolchildren, is being observed across the country on Saturday.

The main observance is being held at Peshawar’s Army Public School (APS) with the attendance of the parents of all the victims and Pakistan army officers, but there are several memorial events nationwide.

Portraits of the victims are on display at the school and along the roads of Peshawar to pay tribute to the slain children and their teachers.

On Dec. 16, 2014, six Taliban terrorists stormed the school and killed over 140 people, including 122 schoolchildren and their teachers.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Khalifa Mansoor group had claimed responsibility.

On Saturday Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi called the attack a black day in the country’s history, saying the terrorists brutally targeted innocent children.

"The Pakistani nation has made unprecedented sacrifices in war against terrorism -- more than any other nation in the world -- and we are the first nation to defeat terrorists in our region," Abbasi said in a message issued from his office.

He added that the tragedy has led to national unity and a firm resolve to launch decisive action against terrorists.

"Our forces broke the terrorists’ back and destroyed their hideouts across the country," Abbasi said.

Imran Khan, the country’s top opposition leader and a former cricket star, also paid tribute to the attack’s victims.

"Today as we remember with sorrow the devastating terrorist attack on APS Peshawar that martyred our precious innocent children and their teachers, we must ensure this can never happen again so future generations can be nurtured safely to follow their dreams," Khan said on Twitter.

Pakistan lifted a six-year de facto ban on the death penalty after the massacre.

According to Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army’s media wing, all six militants who were involved in the attack have since been executed.

Four were hanged in December 2015 while two were executed since this May.

Umar Mansoor also known as Khalifa Mansoor, a key Taliban commander who claimed responsibility for the Peshawar attack, was also killed in a U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan recently this October.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Aralık 2017, 16:28