Washington: The brutal attack on a Peshawar school killing more than 141 students reinforces the fact that Pakistan must continue to clear terrorists from its safe havens, top American lawmakers have said as they joined hands across the aisle in condemning this barbaric attack.

"Today's terrorist attack in Pakistan on schoolchildren is absolutely sickening. "The heinous attack demonstrates once again the barbarity of the Pakistani Taliban in pushing its extreme ideology, with complete disregard for the lives of innocent children and civilians," said Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday.

Even by the grim standards of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, this is a low, he said as he sent condolences to the victims and families impacted by this horrific terrorist attack. "This brutal violence reinforces the fact that Pakistan must continue to clear terrorists from safe-havens in the federally administered tribal areas," Royce said.

"Pakistan is grieving today and we in the United States mourn alongside the families who have lost their loved ones at the Army Public School in Peshawar," said Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "The Pakistani Taliban's extremism and terrorism continues to deny peace and stability to the Pakistani people and their regional neighbours.

We in the United States support the Pakistani government in their fight against extremism, and we stand with the people of Pakistan during this dark hour," he said. The brutal slaughter of more than 140 innocent civilians, mostly school children, by the Taliban in Peshawar shocks the conscience, said Senator Chris Murphy.

"My heart goes out to the victims and their families, to the people of Pakistan and to the Pakistani community in Connecticut and across the United States," he said. The senseless murder of innocent children, whether at a school in Pakistan or here in the United States, ranks among the most heinous and cowardly acts of depravity, he added.

"The Taliban have once again demonstrated that they have nothing to offer but violence and fear. "The United States today stands together with the people of Pakistan in their efforts to counter extremism and to build a better future for their children," Murphy said.