Margaret Eby
December 16, 2014 12:52 pm

On Tuesday, in the wake of a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar that killed 132 children, Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who herself survived an attack by the Taliban, spoke out to offer her solace to the families of the victims.

“I am heartbroken by the senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us,” Yousafzai said in a heartwrenching video statement.

“Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this. I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable,” she continued.

“I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters — but we will never be defeated.”

The attack on Tuesday took place at an army-run school, which was targeted in response to military operations, according to a Taliban spokesperson. At least five militants entered the school wearing security uniforms and began shooting people. The militants killed 141 people in total and injured dozens of others, mostly children.

The 17-year-old Malala, who has worked as an advocate for children and women’s education from a young age, was shot by a Taliban assassin at the age of 15 for promoting school for girls. She was awarded the Nobel prize in recognition of her activism for education and for amplifying the voices of children in countries with restrictive political regimes.

Some experts, including Islamic militant scholar Ahmed Rashid, suggested that the Taliban attack on the school was in response to Yousafzai’s Nobel win and increased public profile. Days before the Peshawar attack, the Taliban decried Yousafzai’s activism as a pact with “Western satanic forces” and speculated that the Nobel win was “to promote Western culture and not education.”

“We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” the Taliban spokesman said. “We want them to feel the pain.”

It is a horrible story but one that we absolutely must pay attention to.

[Image via]

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