Pakistan

Kerry to visit school attacked by Taliban

ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to visit a school in northwestern Pakistan which was the scene of a Taliban massacre that left 150 dead, a top Pakistani official said Monday.

“We heard you are planning to visit Peshawar and the school,” Sartaj Aziz, the national security adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told Kerry shortly after he arrived for an unannounced two-day visit.

Child survivors of the attack, Pakistan’s deadliest ever, returned Monday to the school where gunmen massacred their classmates, with students and parents expressing a mixture of defiance and apprehension.

The December 16 raid on the Army Public School prompted a bout of national soul-searching even in a country accustomed to high levels of violence.

Kerry at the time along with President Barack Obama led global condemnation, calling the attack “gut-wrenching”.

Peshawar, the capital of the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is regularly attacked by Islamist militants.

For several years it has been considered unsafe for Westerners, heightening the significance of any official visit.

There was no immediate State Department confirmation of Kerry’s visit. -AFP

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