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Pakistan remembers APS victims on 8th anniversary of tragedy

On December 16, 2014, 147 people, including 132 schoolchildren, were massacred when six terrorists affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan stormed the Army Public School in Peshawar Cantonment and opened indiscriminate fire.

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Pakistan is observing the 8th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack on the Army Public School (APS) Peshawar that left around 150 people martyred.

On December 16, 2014, 147 people, including 132 schoolchildren, were massacred when six terrorists affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) stormed the Army Public School in Peshawar Cantonment and opened indiscriminate fire.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in memory of the APS attack on the 8th anniversary, vowed on Friday that Pakistan would continue its efforts with determination until the elimination of terrorism.

“Dec 16 is the day for the whole Pakistan to be united against terrorism. This day reminds the world that Pakistan has rendered great sacrifices to eradicate terrorism,” PM Shehbaz wrote on Twitter.

Read more: APS attack survivor Ahmad Nawaz elected as President of Oxford Union

Paying tribute to the martyrs of the APS attack on 8th anniversary and condoling with the families of the victim, he said the Pakistani nation would never forget the sacrifices of its martyrs.

A number of activities and functions are being held across the country to remember the sacrifices of innocent children. Meanwhile, social media trends are running on Twitter as the nation has come together to pay tribute to the victims of the horrific APS tragedy.

The deadliest attack in Pakistan’s history, the carnage prompted the government to declare an all-out war against terrorist outfits. In the wake of the attack, military courts were set up for trying terrorists under amendments made to the Constitution and the Army Act. Following the attack, political parties and security departments formed a National Action Plan (NAP) to stem extremism and terrorism.

The mastermind of the APS massacre, Umar Mansour, alias Khalifa Mansour, alias Umar Naray, was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan.

Read more: SC orders government to make APS Judicial Commission report public

Eight years later — despite the counter-terrorism National Action Plan that was chalked out days after the APS massacre and other security strategies — educational institutions in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa remain a relatively easy target for militants.