Pakistan school massacre survivors leave on 'healing trip'

Pakistani parents leave the Army Public School with their children after it was reopened following an attack there by Taleban militants in Peshawar on Jan 12, 2015. A group of students and teachers who survived the massacre left for a trip to Ch
Pakistani parents leave the Army Public School with their children after it was reopened following an attack there by Taleban militants in Peshawar on Jan 12, 2015. A group of students and teachers who survived the massacre left for a trip to China on Monday, Feb 2, 2015, aimed at healing the mental scars of their ordeal. -- PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR (AFP) - A group of students and teachers who survived a Taleban massacre at a Pakistani school left Monday for a trip to China aimed at healing the mental scars of their ordeal.

Heavily-armed militants stormed the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December, killing 150 people, most of them children, in Pakistan's bloodiest-ever terror attack.

The carnage horrified the world and left many survivors badly traumatised. Now 10 students and two teachers who escaped the bloodshed have been sent on a 10-day trip to help them recover.

"The basic aim of the visit is to divert the attention of the survivors," from the nightmare, a security official told AFP.

An official at the Army Public School confirmed the visit and told AFP that "more survivors will be sent in coming days to other countries".

Both the officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

The officials said the decision was taken after psychiatrists suggested that survivors need long-term therapy and mental health counselling.

The security official in Peshawar said the parents of children killed in the attack would be sent to on pilgrimage Saudi Arabia - home to some of Islam's most holy sites - in the coming days.