Pakistan Mourns Peshawar Army Massacre, Shuttering Schools & Enacting 3-Day Mourning Period
As Pakistan reels after a Taliban attack on Tuesday, the country began burying the 148 people, including 132 children, killed when the Pakistani arm of the group devastated an Peshawar Army school with gunfire and explosives. The burials began on Tuesday and have continued to Wednesday, and the Pakistani government announced a three-day mourning period.
The army worked overnight to clear the school of explosives, removing any possibility of hidden bombs. Many schools in Pakistan closed Wednesday, with those remaining open offering special prayers in remembrance of the victims. Vigils are being held across the country, while mass funerals begin to lay to rest the innocents killed in the attack. Guardian correspondent Jon Boone reported that the streets of Peshawar are unusually quiet in the wake of the attack, and that representatives linked to another terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, are on the streets offering assistance to mourners.
Despite a long history of border clashes between the two, many people in India were quick to stand with the country, with the Indian parliament holding a minute of silence for the victims. Thousands of civilians tweeted messages of support using the hashtag #IndiaWithPakistan, at least temporarily setting aside deep-seated animosity at the Kashmir border.
Some members of the media were allowed inside of the school Wednesday and reported on what was left behind in the carnage. BBC News' Mishal Husain wrote that blood stains spattered the floor of the auditorium, where a large portion of the attack took place. She also noted that a child's show was left behind on the auditorium steps.
The office of Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif released a statement Wednesday saying that it would lift the moratorium on executions for terrorist-related crimes. Pakistan has not executed a non-military criminal since the moratorium was introduced in 2008.
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