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Hundreds hold vigil in Surrey for victims of Taliban attack

Candles illuminated some 200 mournful faces at Surrey’s Holland Park Wednesday during a vigil for the victims of a brutal attack at a Pakistan school earlier this week.

Taliban militants killed at least 141 people and injured 121 more at a school in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar Tuesday. Most of the victims were children — students ranging from Grade 1 through Grade 10.

Many of those at the Surrey vigil said they had family members in Pakistan. Some members of the multicultural crowd held signs that read “We need secular Pakistan,” “Say NO to Taliban,” or “Peshawar we are with you.”

Umar Khan attended the vigil with his wife Adriana Favella and their two children, Zayne and Zahra. Like others at the vigil, Khan said revenge would not be the right reaction.

“The people who are more fanatical, more extreme, they have grown in number. What happens when you go and bomb them, there’s always a lot of collateral damage … then somebody there grows up and does the same thing to you. It’s never going to end if you think force is the solution,” said Khan, a native of Lahore, Pakistan.

Khan said if Canada had any influence in the region, or money to give, it should be directed at education, not military might.

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