WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES
The Afghan Taliban has condemned the mass murder of more than 100 children by its Pakistani counterpart as un-Islamic.
Mass funerals have been held for some of the 142 people, most of them children, killed by the Pakistani branch of the extremist group in a school attack that has plunged Pakistan into mourning and anger.
The Afghan branch of the Taliban, which calls itself the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, said it was "shocked at the incident and shares the pain of the families of children killed in the attack".
"The intentional killing of innocent people, women and children goes against the principles of Islam and every Islamic government and movement must adhere to this fundamental essence," its spokesman said.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more
Prayer vigils were held across the nation and in other schools, students spoke of their shock at the carnage in the city of Peshawar, where seven gunmen from the Pakistani gunmen, explosives strapped to their bodies, scaled a back wall using a ladder to get into the Army Public School and College in the morning hours on Tuesday.
Students were gunned down and some of the female teachers were burned alive with pupils made to watch.
Some of the funerals were held overnight, but most of the 132 children and 10 school staff members killed in the attack were to be buried Wednesday. Another 121 students and three staff members were wounded.
"They finished in minutes what I had lived my whole life for, my son," said Akhtar Hussain, tears streaming down his face as he buried his 14-year-old, Fahad. He said he had worked for years in Dubai to earn a livelihood for his children.
"That innocent one is now gone in the grave, and I can't wait to join him, I can't live anymore," he wailed, banging his fists against his head.
The government declared a three-day mourning period, starting on Wednesday.
Army commandos fought the Taliban in a day-long battle until the school was cleared and the attackers dead.
The government declared a three-day mourning period, starting Wednesday. Overnight, the body of the school principal, Tahira Qazi, was found among the debris from the rampage. Her death raised further the earlier reported death toll of 141.
The Taliban said the attack was revenge for a military offensive against their safe havens in the northwest, along the border with Afghanistan, which began in June. Analysts said the school siege showed that even diminished, the militant group still could inflict horrific carnage.
After the attack, Pakistani Army commandos fought the Taliban in a day-long battle until the school was cleared and the attackers dead.
The attack drew swift condemnation from around the world. President Barack Obama said the "terrorists have once again showed their depravity."
Pakistan's teenage Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai — herself a survivor of a Taliban shooting — said she was "heartbroken" by the bloodshed.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted te country's moratorium on the death penalty in the wake of the attack pledged to step up the campaign that — along with U.S. drone strikes — has targeted the militants.
"We will take account of each and every drop of our children's blood," said Sharif, who rushed to Peshawar shortly after the attack to offer support for the victims.