Pakistan court sentences four militants to death
A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has sentenced at least four militants to death for their involvement in a deadly terrorist attack on prison staff in the eastern city of Lahore three years ago.
Special prosecutor Shaikh Saeed said the Lahore High Court handed down the death penalty to four men belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday.
“The court has awarded death sentence to four militants for the 2012 attack on jail staff,” media outlets quoted Saeed as saying.
He also added that the convicts were also fined USD 18,000 each.
The militants had shot dead at least 10 officers as they slept during a dawn raid on the residential quarters for prison staff in July 2012. Several security personnel were also injured as they fled into neighboring houses in a bid to save themselves from the volley of bullets.
The four militants were arrested about a year after the attack, when they were caught with heavy weapons at a bus station in the city.
Pakistani judicial sources say the militants had confessed to carrying out the attack in the densely populated Lahore suburb of Ichra.
Pakistan has witnessed major militant attacks over the past few years.
On December 16, 2014, a group of pro-Taliban militants stormed an army-run school in the city of Peshawar and killed about 150 people, including 132 students.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militants claimed responsibility for the assault, saying it was carried out in retaliation for the Pakistani army’s major military offensive in the North Waziristan tribal area which borders Afghanistan.
The Pakistani army started an operation against militant hideouts in North Waziristan in June 2014 after a deadly raid on the Karachi International Airport ended the government’s faltering peace talks with pro-Taliban militants.