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Summary

  1. Peshawar buries its dead after the bloodiest Taliban attack in Pakistan's history
  2. The army says seven attackers were involved, killing 141 people, 132 of them students
  3. Inside the school, BBC journalists find bloodstains and books - the marks of massacre
  4. PM Nawaz Sharif says he will restore security and fight terrorism
  5. The army launches new air strikes on militants in Khyber and North Waziristan areas. All times GMT

Live Reporting

By Yaroslav Lukov, Sally Taft, Alastair Lawson, Neil Arun and Kerry Alexandra

All times stated are UK

This brings to an end our live coverage of the aftermath of Tuesday's attack on a school in Peshawar - the bloodiest Taliban terror attack in Pakistan's history. Wednesday has seen mass funerals of the victims in the north-western city, as the nation is observing three days of mourning.

Thanks for staying with us! You can get all the latest updates on this and other stories on

the BBC News website.

@MishalHusainBBC

Mishal Husain

Presenter

tweets: 'We want justice' they say, 'we want the Taliban to answer for this' #peshawar

Vigil in Peshawar
Mishal Husain

@wburema

Wietske Burema, BBC producer in Pakistan

tweets: Tiny coffins covered in rose petals & candles for the dead of Peshawar. Chants of take revenge pak army

Coffins covered in candles and rose petals
Wietske Burema

Boxer Amir Khan - who comes from a British-Pakistani background - has joined in the international condemnation of the attack. "What has taken place in Peshawar is absolutely horrific and sickening," he said.

"After recently becoming a father myself I can't really imagine how the families of these innocent children are feeling. "My deepest condolences go out to all the families affected and I wish to express my full support for Pakistan and the people of Pakistan."

"We are hoping that we will see strong action from the Afghan side in the coming days," Pakistani army spokesman Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa says, pointing out that the new presidential leadership in Kabul has indicated that it is willing to act.

"The time has arrived for Afghanistan and Pakistan to act together against terrorism and extremism with honesty and effectiveness," Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement after meeting Pakistan's army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Inter-Services Intelligence agency head Rizwan Akhtar.

Thousands of Indians are continuing sending their messages of support to Pakistan in the wake of the school attack with the hashtag
#IndiawithPakistan

The first tweet that started the trend
Twitter

A number of injured people - some of whom remain in critical condition - are still being treated in Peshawar's hospital.

Health workers treat an injured man in Peshawar's hospital
AFP

'State's survival'

The massacre by the Taliban should prompt Pakistan's military and political leaders to reconsider their conflicted approach to the insurgency that is threatening the state's survival, a comment column in

the New York Times says.

@ShahzebJillani

Shahzeb Jillani

BBC News, Pakistan

tweets: Despite criticism by rights groups, most Pakistanis seem to favour the death penalty for terror suspects.

'Collective failure'

Pakistan's National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz says the attack cannot be blamed on the security services. "In a way, it's a national collective failure," he tells the BBC. "The point is that the attacks against schools were generally against school buildings, not children."

"They would normally be carried out at night at times when schools are closed. Whereas in this case they actually targeted children and they chose an army public school because they were retaliating, a blow-back against the army operation [in] North Waziristan."

@Shaimaakhalil

Shaimaa Khalil

BBC Pakistan Correspondent

tweets: Candle light vigil outside #ArmyPublicSchool in #Peshawar-there's still a great sense of shock here but also anger

Candlelight vigil in Peshawar
Shaimaa Khalil

While schools are closed in parts of Pakistan, a number of educational institutions have remained open,

Dawn reports, to offer prayers for the victims of the massacre. Government buildings and Pakistani missions around the world world have lowered their flags to half-mast during the three days of mourning.

A Pakistani flag flies at half-mast at the country's embassy in Delhi, India
AFP
A Pakistani flag flies at half-mast at the country's embassy in Delhi, India

Pakistan's powerful army chief Gen Raheel Sharif visited Afghanistan for talks on how to tackle militants, a day after the Peshawar attack. "Vital elements of intelligence were shared with the concerned authorities, with regard to [the] Peshawar incident," an army statement said, according to the Express Tribune newspaper.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have accused each other of providing shelter for Taliban fighters on their respective territories.

@wburema

Wietske Burema, BBC producer in Pakistan

tweets: Hearing tales of moving heroism. 12 yr old boy helped classmates to scramble over a high school wall and led them across fields to safety.

@TheHaroonRashid

Haroon Rashid, BBC Urdu

tweets: Islamabad vigil as all roads to Kohsar market blocked #Peshawar

Vigil in Islamabad
Haroon Rashid

Anna Myers

@annamyers

tweets: Sadness in my heart "@dmosbergen: "The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry." #PeshawarAttack "

The belongings of those injured in the attack are scattered across the school.

Bloodstained shoe in Peshawar school
EPA

Mr Rashid added that while it was true that Islamabad's approach to tackling terrorism had historically been "selective", the latest offensive in Waziristan would yield results.

A Pakistani expert on the Taliban has told the BBC's World at One programme that the school attack was a sign that the army offensive in Waziristan has been successful, leaving the group "annoyed and antagonised".

Ahmed Rashid said the attack aimed to demoralise the Pakistani army, and could also be read as a message to the campaigner for girls' education, Malala Yousafzai. Mr Rashid said the Pakistani Taliban "wanted to show that their opposition to what [Yousafzai] stands for is still very much there".

Question of numbers

There is some uncertainty over the exact number of people killed in Peshawar. News agencies - including Reuters, AFP and AP - say the total was 148. But others, including the BBC, are sticking with the number given earlier by the military - 141. The discrepancy may be down to the inclusion of the seven dead attackers in the total.

This leads us to another discrepancy. While the Pakistani army says it killed seven attackers, the Taliban says six members took part in the assault. However, the image of the attackers released by the militants does show seven people.

@SAfridiOfficial

Shahid Afridi

Pakistan cricketer

tweets: Can't get out of today's tragic trauma pls u all pray for all those affected families. We are one Nation, Allah swt is with us.

Bilal Ahmed Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan

emails: I work at the headquarters of the country's largest telecom company. We just had a short combined prayer for the victims of the Peshawar attack in our courtyard in which about 200 people took part. Many women were crying and the mood was sombre. It has been a quiet and depressed day at the office and the desolate expressions on everyone's face tell the story. Some vigils are being planned in part of the city and I'm planning to visit them.

Inside the army-run school, bullet holes surround a display celebrating Pakistan's army.

Bullet-scarred wall inside school
AFP

'A turning point'

Veteran Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai discussed Pakistan's reaction to the attack with the BBC earlier.

"I think nobody now talks about having any negotiations with Taliban, the only comment I have is that the Pakistani state should go after them," he said.

"There should be no discrimination and I heard women saying that these people should be given exemplary punishment. So I think the mood has changed. It's a turning point now in Pakistan."

@StewartWood

Stewart Wood

Labour Peer

tweets: Very powerful remarks by [UK Prime Minister David Cameron] on the "massacre of the innocents" in Peshawar at the start of #PMQs.

'No good or bad Taliban' - Sharif

More from that news conference with Prime Minister Sharif. "There is no precedent for this attack in the history of Pakistan," he told reporters.

"The fight against terrorism and extremism is our own fight. There is no good or bad Taliban."

Pakistan's leaders have been accused of using some elements of the Taliban to serve their regional aims - a charge they have denied.

BreakingSharif holds news conference

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised to improve security and tackle terrorism. He was speaking to reporters in Peshawar.

Meanwhile, the number of people killed in Pakistan's bloodiest Taliban attack has now risen to 148.

Late for school - and lucky to be alive

Dawood Ibrahim would have been at school yesterday - if he had managed to wake up on time,

reports the Express Tribune newspaper. But the 15-year-old missed his alarm. Today, he is the sole survivor from his ninth-grade class.

"Dawood isn't talking to anyone, he isn't talking at all," his brother, Sufyan Ibrahim, told the newspaper. "He just attended funerals the entire day."

More images from inside the school, a day after the attack. Here, Pakistani soldiers escort journalists on the premises.

Inside the school
EPA

Rahim Khan, Peshawar

Rahim shared his photo with his nephew, whom he said had been rescued by his teachers from the school on Tuesday.

Rahim Khan and his nephew
Rahim Khan

Death toll rises

The number of people killed in the Peshawar attack has gone up to 144, according to Pakistani newspaper

Express Tribune.

The Pakistani Taliban have also released a photograph that they say shows the fighters who stormed the school on Tuesday.

Taliban photograph of the fighters who stormed a military-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan - 17 December 2014
AP

No remorse

Haroon Rashid

BBC News, Pakistan

The new Taliban statement also says the security agencies had detained militants' relatives and killed them in staged encounters. It says 600 people have been killed in this way this year - a claim that could not be independently verified.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani said the school was targeted because it was where children of army men were studying. He also warned civilians to avoid any links with security agencies. The statement showed no remorse for the deaths of young children.

New Taliban statement

Haroon Rashid

BBC News, Pakistan

Mohammad Khurasani, the spokesman for the banned Pakistani Taliban, says six of its fighters attacked the army-run school in Peshawar. In an emailed message, he says the operation was led by Umer Mansoor, a Taliban military chief in the Dara Adam Khel region.

The statement says Umer Mansoor remained in touch with the assailants throughout the attack. It says the Pakistan military has been waging a war for the last six years against the people of the tribal regions and Malakand division.

'They finished what I had lived for'

Across Peshawar, parents have been burying their children. Akhtar Hussain wept as he buried his 14-year-old son, Fahad.

"They finished in minutes what I had lived my whole life for, my son,'' the Associated Press news agency quotes him as saying. "That innocent one is now gone in the grave, and I can't wait to join him, I can't live anymore."

According to the agency, Mr Hussain had worked for years in Dubai so that he could support his children.

Pakistani school children in Hyderabad pray for those killed in the school attack in Peshawar - 17 December 2014
EPA

Charred walls and bullet-holes

The school was badly damaged in the militant assault and subsequent siege by the security forces. Here is

a short video clip of the BBC's Mishal Husain, on a tour of the building with a Pakistani army officer.

@bouckap

Peter Bouckaert

Director at Human Rights Watch

tweets: Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif just lifted death penalty moratorium following Taliban Peshawar school attack, populist move but not a solution.

School's happier days

Asad Liaqat, a doctoral student at Harvard University,
writes for Pakistani newspaper Dawn, about his alma mater - the Army Public School in Peshawar. The article contains several pictures of the school in happier times.

"There would be about 10-15 people, and my Islamiat [religious studies] teacher was usually one of them," he writes.

"His head was always tilted slightly to the left. For him, probably a marker of added involvement and concentration in the prayer... I wonder if he still taught at the school. I wonder if he still tilted his head to the left when he prayed. I wonder if the tilt saved his life today. I wonder if the lack of a tilt cost the others on the prayer mats their lives."

A Pakistani soldier walks amidst the debris at the army-run school in Peshawar - 17 December 2014
AFP

@BBCRosAtkins

Ros Atkins

BBC Outside Source

tweets: Few know Pakistan like Aamer Ahmed Khan, head of
@BBCUrdu. He'll be live on
@BBCOS to take questions about the #PeshawarAttack. What would you ask?