Sheffield event mourns victims of Peshwara massacre

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Community leaders vowed to ‘stand united’ as they released 141 balloons to remember child victims of the Peshwara massacre.

The balloons were let go by a crowd of around 100 people at the end of a sombre, multi-faith ceremony in Sheffield’s Peace Gardens on Saturday.

Balloons are released at the vigil for the victims at the Pakistan School murder

Balloons are released at the vigil for the victims at the Pakistan School murder

Some who had gathered to remember the pupils and teachers killed in the Taliban attack last week wiped away tears as they listened to the speeches, lit candles and held red roses.

Mohammed Ismail, from event organiser the Federation of Mosques in Sheffield, said: “My distant relatives, three families have lost three children and one is injured.

“Another distant relation was a teacher at the school and injured, so it is a tragedy on our doorstep.”

Some speakers said it was a struggle to express the ‘sorrow’ and grief they were feeling.

Ishfaq Hussain, of the Sheffield Islamic Centre, said: “We are not going to be defeated and we all stand united.

“What we need to is educate young people and fight with the pen not with guns.”

The event was organised on Saturday so that children could attend.

Former Broomhill councillor Shaffaq Mohammed said: “Every day we get our kids ready for school and wave them off - we expect them to come home.

“I can’t imagine how the parents of these children would feel.”

Bishop of Hallam Ralph Heskett said: “It is such a tragedy what has happened - I can’t imagine how their families must be feeling at this time.

“I’m here just to express my condolences with people on behalf of the Catholic community.”

Hundreds of people attended a remembrance event held at Sheffield University earlier last week.

A book of condolences has also been opened at The Pakistani Muslim centre on Woodbourn Road.