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Pakistan mourns victims of savage school massacre


ISLAMABAD – Pakistan began three days of mourning on Wednesday for the 132 children and nine school staff killed in the deadliest ever attack by the Taliban.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called it a “national tragedy unleashed by savages.’’
Reports say seven Taliban insurgents stormed an army-run school in the north-western city of Peshawar on Tuesday.
The tragedy went on an eight-hour killing spree that claimed at least 141 lives.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the official name for the Pakistani Taliban, took responsibility for the attack, saying it was a revenge mission for a major military offensive in the region that was launched in June.
Report says Wednesday’s papers across Pakistan were full of condemnation.
“Devils butcher our little angels,’’ the headline in The Nation, an English-language newspaper, read.
TTP’s neighbouring allies, the Afghan Taliban, condemned the attack as “against the basics of Islam.’’
The officials said that funerals of many of the victims that started on Tuesday would continue to take place on Wednesday.
It said candlelight vigils, protests, and remembrance ceremonies were planned in cities and towns across the country.
Flags were lowered at half-mast for three days in all official buildings and Pakistani missions abroad.
Sharif called for an all-party conference on Wednesday to discuss responses to the massacre.
Imran Khan, the chief of an opposition party that has been organising rallies against Sharif, said he had decided to call off his protest.
Khan also said he would attend Sharif’s meeting of political leaders “to assure the nation that we are united at this time of national tragedy.’’ (dpa/NAN)

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