Santa Fe school shooting: Hundreds at Sabika Sheikh funeral

Relatives and residents carry the coffin of slain Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, who was killed during a school shooting in Texas, following her body"s arrival from the United States, in Karachi on May 23, 2018 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Wrapped in the Pakistani flag, Sabika Sheikh's coffin was taken to the funeral service

The funeral of a Pakistani student killed in last week's Texas school shooting has taken place in Karachi.

Sabika Sheikh, who was 17, was among the eight students and two teachers killed in the attack in Santa Fe.

Her body was flown back to Pakistan on Wednesday. Senior politicians were among hundreds at the funeral.

The gunman, identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is being held on charges of murder and aggravated assault.

Sabika Sheikh had been due to return home to Pakistan in just a few weeks' time, ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid.

Instead a coffin containing her body was flown back to Karachi airport in the early hours of the morning.

Image copyright Sabika Sheikh family

She had been studying in Texas for the last year as part of a US government programme to improve understanding between America and Muslim countries. Her family said she had hoped to one day work as a diplomat.

Her father told the BBC he wanted his daughter's death to be a catalyst for change to America's gun laws.

"Sabika's death should not be in vain," Abdul Aziz Sheikh told the BBC.

Her uncle Colonel Haider Ali urged the people of America to "make your schools safe".

"What are you doing with your society? We sent her to be educated, not to come back like this."

What happened during the attack?

Students said the shooter entered an art class and opened fire shortly before 08:00 (13:00 GMT) on Friday. There were 1,400 students in the school at the time of the attack.

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Media captionHow the Texas school shooting unfolded

Police later found information in the suspect's diary, and on his computer and mobile phone, suggesting that he had planned the attack and intended to kill himself afterwards.

Image copyright Twitter/ @HCSOTexas
Image caption The high school is about 40 miles south of Houston

So far this year, more than 5,000 people have died in shooting incidents in the United States, according to monitoring group the Gun Violence Archive.

How does it compare with previous school shootings?

The Texas attack is the deadliest school shooting since a student opened fire in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people.

That assault spawned a nationwide youth-led campaign for gun control, and a litany of proposed changes:

Gun control advocates have criticised what they see as minor changes amid continued support for the NRA from leading politicians.

The worst shooting at a place of education in US history occurred at Virginia Tech university in 2007, where 33 people were killed and 25 injured.

There have been more deaths in US school shootings so far in 2018 than there have been deaths in the US military, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.

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