17 DECEMBER 2014 Malala Yousafzai and Queen Rania of Jordan showed their solidarity for the victims of the "atrocious" attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday. A total of 141 people were killed – 132 of whom were children – when Taliban militants stormed the building.
Reaching out on her organisation's Facebook page, Malala, who actively campaigns for female rights and education, released a moving statement.
"I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us," the 17-year-old wrote. "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," added Malala. "I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters – but we will never be defeated."
The Nobel Prize winner from Pakistan was herself was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen two years ago, when she had boarded her school bus in the district of Swat.
Malala's message was echoed by various supporters on social media, including Queen Rania of Jordan who shared a post on Twitter.
"Till when will innocent children pay the horrific price of extremism #PeshawarAttack #ThisIsNotIslam," wrote the royal and mother-of-four.
As more details and photos of the deadly attack emerged, a range of people from political leaders to celebrities expressed their grief and horror online and the term #PeshawarAttack was soon trending.
Pope Francis condemned the incident, as well as the recent siege in Sydney and car bomb attack in Yemen, as he gave his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
"I would like to pray together with you for the victims of the inhuman terrorist acts carried out in the past few days in Australia, Pakistan and Yemen," he said.