Pakistan executed four militants Wednesday morning over their role in planning and facilitating one of the worst Taliban massacres in the country's history.
The Peshawar attack on December 16 of last year resulted in the deaths of 141 people, including 134 children, at the army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar, according to security sources.
The men were reportedly hung in Kohat on Wednesday at the city's civilian-run central jail, unnamed security sources said.
The Peshawar massacre last December was the deadliest terror attack in Pakistan's history. It shocked the country and led the government to lift a moratorium on executions that was imposed in 2008. Pakistan's parliament then amended the constitution to allow military courts to try civilians in terrorism cases. The Supreme Court upheld the use of such trials earlier this month.
The four men executed — Hazrat Ali, Mujeebur Rehman, Sabeel, and Maulvi Abdus Salam — were the first civilians to be convicted by those military courts, on August 13, according to a military statement sent on that date.
Three others were also sentenced to death for involvement in the attack, according to the same military statement, but death warrants have not yet been issued for them.
All were identified as members of the Toheedwal Jihad group (TWG), a previously unheard of faction of the Pakistani Taliban. Nine attackers who entered the school on December 16, 2014, reportedly began methodically moving from classroom to classroom, killing schoolchildren and teachers. All nine gunmen were killed in the siege.
After the news of the attack broke, the Pakistani Taliban quickly claimed responsibility, saying it was retaliation for the army's ongoing campaign against militants in Pakistan's tribal areas.
"We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females," said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani. "We want them to feel the pain."
Seven "facilitator" suspects were arrested shortly afterwards — six men and one woman.
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