UN rights chief slams 'savage extremism' behind Pakistan attack

16th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

The UN rights chief condemned the "savage extremism" of Taliban insurgents who killed at least 130 people, most of them children, at a school in Pakistan on Tuesday.

"The Taliban have sunk to an all-time depth with this attack," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, adding that the group was guilty of the "highest levels of human barbarity".

He said the attack by gunmen on the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar was "an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children".

Zeid, the first Muslim and Arab to hold the rights office, said there could be no excuse for supporting extremist groups such as the Taliban, the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria or Al-Qaeda.

"Everyone must now unite to combat this type of savage extremism," he said, adding that their ideology "bears no resemblance to any religion or any cultural norm".

"No government or intelligence agencies, no religious figures, no wealthy sponsors, no members of the general public can possibly justify continuing support for the Taliban, ISIL, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda or any of these takfiri (extremist) groups which appear to be competing to attain the highest levels of human barbarity," he said.

Noting the increasingly frequent threats and attacks on schools and schoolchildren in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, Zeid said: "Nowhere in the world should it be an act of bravery for a child to attend school."

© 2014 AFP

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