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Pakistan to execute 7 militants over Peshawar school massacre

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The parents of slain Pakistani school student, Malik Usam Tahir Awan, hold his photographs at their home in Peshawar, Pakistan, on August 13, 2015, after his death in December 2014 in a militant attack on the Army Public School. ©AFP

Pakistani military courts have sentenced seven militants to death over involvement in last December’s carnage at a school in the country’s northwestern city of Peshawar, where nearly 150 people, mainly children, lost their lives.

According to a statement released by the Directorate of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the mouthpiece of the Pakistani army, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif approved the rulings on Thursday.

"The convicts were given fair trial by following all the legal formalities and offering/providing them legal aid and defense counsels," the statement said.

The army said five of the militants sentenced to death were members of the militant Tawhid-wal-Jihad Group (TJG), while the other two were from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jaish-e-Mohammed terror networks.

Pakistani parents display photographs of their slain children as they gather on December 23, 2014 outside the Army Public School in Peshawar, where their school children were killed by Taliban militants earlier in the month. ©AFP

Another convict, identified as TTP militant Muhammad Farhan, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Pakistan's military says the men played a major role in planning and facilitating the Peshawar school carnage and several other assaults.

The ISPR statement did not mention when the convicts would be put to death, noting that the men reserve the right to appeal.

Those facing the death penalty are not those who took part in the Peshawar school attack as all the attackers were killed in the assault.

On December 16, 2014, a group of militants mounted an attack against the Army Public School in Peshawar, massacring 148 people.

A Pakistani soldier searches mourners arriving to pay their respects at the Army Public School, where 148 people were massacred by the Taliban in Peshawar, Pakistan, December 21, 2014. ©AFP

The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out in retaliation for an ongoing Pakistani military offensive against the militants in the country’s tribal belt.

Following the deadly attack in Peshawar, Pakistan lifted the moratorium on the death penalty in place since 2008.

Some 200 people have reportedly been executed in Pakistan since December 2014. Many of them were not convicted for terror offenses.

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