Four militants, who were involved in the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan last December, were hanged to death early Wednesday, reports said. Taliban fighters had stormed the school launching gunfire and detonating bombs, killing over 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.
The hangings come just two weeks ahead of the one-year anniversary of the attack, which triggered a crackdown against militants, the formation of military courts in the country and the lifting of the moratorium on executions, BBC reported. The hangings were confirmed by security and prison officials to local newspaper Dawn, which added that the militants met their families for the last time late Tuesday. Army Chief General Raheel Sharif signed the death warrants Monday.
“Four militants involved in the attack on Army Public School were hanged this morning in Kohat prison [in the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province],” the security source told Dawn.
The militants hanged early Wednesday were Maulvi Abdus Salam, Hazrat Ali, Mujeebur Rehman and Sabeel alias Yahya, according to Dawn. The men were tried in a military court and were accused of aiding and abetting militants who were killed during the attack. The bodies will be returned to their families soon, Agence France-Presse reported.
A closed-door trial in August concluded that six militants linked to the attack will be executed and a life sentence was handed out to a seventh militant, Geo TV, a local news network, reported. Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked President Mamnoon Hussain to reject the appeals from the four militants, who opposed their sentences, and said that they deserved “no mercy.”
The hanged militants reportedly belonged to Toheedwal Jihad Group, which is believed to be a part of the Pakistani Taliban. Since the country lifted the ban on executions last December, about 300 convicts have been executed, Dunya News, a local news network, reported last month. The report also cited London-based Amnesty International to say that the country has about 8,000 people on death row, many of whom have reached the end of their appeals process.