Pakistan remembers students killed in Taliban attack

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Pakistan on Monday paid homage to nearly 150 slain students and their teachers on the fifth anniversary of a brutal Taliban attack on their school in northwest Pakistan on Dec. 16, 2014.

A group of armed men stormed the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar and massacred students and teachers in one of the worst terrorist incidents in Pakistan.

Functions were held in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and other cities to show sympathy with the bereaved families.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in his message on the occasion said that the brutal attack had united the nation against terrorism and violent extremism.

“We pledge on this day not to allow any militant mindset to take our country and the nation hostage to its bigoted vision,” Khan said in the message.

“The blood of the innocent united the nation against all forms of extremism, terrorism, violence and hatred. On this day while paying tribute to our young martyrs, we also laud the sacrifices of our armed forces, police and law-enforcing agencies in the fight against the scourge of terrorism.”

Pakistani President Arif Alvi in his message reiterated to root out terrorism and extremism in all its manifestations from the country.

“It is hard to commemorate this day without tears in one’s eyes. The nation cannot forget the massacre of little children and teachers of APS,” Alvi said.

In a message posted on Twitter by the Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistani army’s media wing, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said the entire nation is united for lasting peace and prosperity of Pakistan.

“Pakistan has come a long way in failing terrorism as a nation. The APS carnage will never be forgotten,” Bajwa said.

He said five of the involved terrorists have been hanged through military courts.

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