Pakistan school massacre: Bath churches aid trip begins

Pakistani men transport a wounded student to hospital after Taliban gunmen attacked a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, 16/12/14 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Taliban gunmen shot and killed 141 people at the army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan in December

It is hoped 80 Pakistan school massacre survivors will receive help in phase one of a Bath churches aid project.

In December, 141 people were killed in a Taliban attack at the army-run school in the north-western city of Peshawar.

Qamar Rafiq from Help and Hope project said: "I'm sure in our first phase we would be able to reach up to 80 victims who were admitted into hospital."

Mr Rafiq will spend three months in Pakistan to oversee the provision of medicine and counselling to survivors.

'Gun horror'

In December the Help and Hope project launched a £15,000 appeal and, so far, half of this sum has been raised - enough to get the relief work started.

Many of the people shot and killed in the Taliban attacks were children.

"The parents have also got gun horror - their children were in the school and the parents were at their homes," said Mr Rafiq.

"Hearing the news of their children [being killed], they have gone into a state of trauma. They need some need post-traumatic stress relief."

Over the past year, the Church has given aid and counselling to victims of the 2013 suicide bombing of All Saints Church, which is near the school.

Image copyright other
Image caption The project has already helped survivors of the All Saints Church bombing in 2013

Some of the survivors of the church bombing will assist the core team of six medics.

Mr Rafiq said: "We also have some friends who had serious injuries from All Saints Church; they have healed now and they are in possession of good health.

"They are going to help with the relief activities and the monitoring of victims who are in hospital."

Mr Rafiq, a Pakistani national from Twerton, Bath is leaving for Pakistan later on Sunday.

The project was set up by the Rev Alan Bain of St Philip and St James churches in Bath.

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