The Prime Minister offered his formal condolences on Tuesday for a twin-set of international tragedies that unfolded in the week’s first 48 hours – Monday’s hostage crisis in Sydney, Australia and the Taliban attack on a military school in Peshawar, Pakistan.
“It’s hard for any of us as rational and compassionate people to understand terrorism, to understand why people would want, in the name of some political cause, to simply terrorize, hurt, kill innocent people, whole sections of society,” Harper said.
“It is beyond our comprehension when somebody would target children.”
Tuesday’s shooting in Pakistan has left 141 people dead (AP reports, link above) and an additional 121 wounded.
Of the dead, 132 of them were children and nine of them staff members.
More: Harper condemns attack on Pakistani school (Dec. 16, 2014)
The attack was carried out at a military school, and militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban has claimed credit for the shooting, according to reports.
“As a father, your heart just breaks when you see that kind of thing,” the Prime Minister said.
On Monday, Australia’s capital was rocked by a 16-hour hostage situation inside a Lindt chocolate cafe. 17 people were taken hostage inside the shop – two were killed, plus the gunman (since identified as 50-year-old Man Haron Monis).
“I know we all watched that with great concern,” Harper said Tuesday in Quebec City.
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Harper said his government will be “in touch with authorities” in Australia and Pakistan to learn more about these attacks, to research the science of terrorism, to prevent other instances from happening elsewhere in the world or in Canada.
“As you know, we’ve had our own difficulties, our own terrible things that have happened this year,” he said.