Four militants involved in the massacre of 134 schoolchildren in last year have been executed, weeks before the anniversary of one of country’s worst ever terrorist attacks.
The men were hanged in a prison in the city of Kohat early on Wednesday for their involvement in on the Army Public school in Peshawar, in which a team of nine suicide fighters used assault weapons and suicide bombs to kill 151 pupils and staff.
One of those killed was Maulvi Abdus Salam, whose house the gunmen stayed in before the attack was launched. The other three – Hazrat Ali, Mujeeb ur Rehman and Sabeel, also known as “Yahya” – were said to have facilitated the attack.
After a trial held behind closed doors in August, the army announced the men were members of the Toheedwal Jihad Group, a little-known faction of the Pakistani .
All four admitted their involvement in the school attack and other plots, including attacks on Peshawar’s airbase, terrorism fundraising and killing soldiers.
Two other men were also sentenced to death while a seventh man was given a life sentence.
Although Pakistan had long been wracked by jihadi militancy, the scale of the school attack prompted a concerted campaign against extremism.
Among the measures introduced was enabling the establishment of special military courts to fast-track terror cases, including the school attackers.
The military’s role meant Pakistan’s army chief, Raheel Sharif, signed the “black warrant” to order the men’s execution on Monday.
Although a national campaign against terrorism has led to a sharp fall in violence, the country is still hit by sporadic attacks, including on Tuesday when two soldiers were shot dead by gunmen on motorbikes in the southern city of Karachi.