Peshawar school massacre video game removed

Upturned chairs and blood stains the floor at the Army Public School auditorium the day after Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Peshawar - 17 December 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption The auditorium of Peshawar's school, where most of the children were killed

A video game based on a Taliban school massacre in Pakistan's city of Peshawar in December 2014 has been withdrawn following a barrage of criticism.

The game - Pakistan Army Retribution - was released by a government digital agency in the central Punjab province.

Players could act as soldiers shooting the attackers in the school. The agency later admitted it was "in poor taste".

More than 150 people, mostly pupils, were killed in the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.

The game was released on Google Play several weeks ago - around the first anniversary of the attack.

However, it became a focus of public attention after Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reviewed the game, declaring that it "failed on every front".

Many online users joined in the criticism, saying the video was exploiting the tragedy.

They described the game as "distasteful" and "insensitive".

Image copyright Twitter

The Punjab IT board, which commissioned the game, later said it had withdrawn the video from distribution.

"Thank you for highlighting this mistake," agency head Umar Saif wrote in a tweet.

Image copyright Twitter

Deadliest attack

On 16 December 2014, seven Taliban attackers wearing bomb vests cut through a wire fence to gain entry to the Army Public School.

They went from class to class, killing 152 people - 133 of them children - and injuring more than 120.

All seven gunmen were later killed.

The Taliban said the attack - the group's deadliest in Pakistan - was in response to a government offensive in North Waziristan and the nearby Khyber area that began earlier that year.

The school killings were condemned across the world.

Peshawar - close to the Afghan border - has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

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