"We will take revenge for each and every drop of our children's blood," Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed as funerals began for 132 children slaughtered in a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar yesterday. Sharif said there would be three days of national mourning for the massacre at a military-run school, in which 10 staff members were killed, as well as all seven attackers, the BBC reports. Sharif also said he would reinstate the death penalty for terrorism. More:
- The attack was condemned worldwide, with Pakistan's archrival India, whose president called the attack "a senseless act of unspeakable brutality," observing two minutes of silence in schools, reports the AP. Even the Taliban in Afghanistan spoke out against the atrocity, calling it "un-Islamic."
- There are signs that the attackers—some of whom reportedly spoke in Arabic to each other—had intended to stay for a long siege, with some of them carrying stores of food, the New York Times reports. A security official, however, says they never attempted to take any hostages. "They were there to kill, and this is what they did," he says.
- One official tells the Guardian that the attackers accessed the school via an unguarded back wall. They may have parked their vehicle next to it and then just climbed on the roof of the vehicle and over the wall.
- A Pakistani Taliban spokesman says the attack was revenge for a military offensive against the militants in areas including North Waziristan, where he says hundreds of innocent people have been killed. The country's defense minister tells CNN that the country will not back off from the offensive, but that the slaughter is another example of the sacrifices Pakistan has made in its battle against the militants. "The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry," he says. "It's a very, very tragic day."
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