December 18, 2014 / 6:33 PM / 5 years ago

Pakistan military signs death warrants for six

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The Pakistani military said on Thursday its Chief of Army Staff had signed death warrants for six “hard core terrorists” following a deadly Taliban attack on a school that killed 132 children earlier this week.

It was unclear if the men had been accused of involvement in the school attack or of other crimes. It was also unclear whether they were in custody or had been convicted in absentia.

“COAS today has signed death warrants of 6 hard core terrorists (pending execution) convicted by Field General Court Martial (FGCM), in accordance with law,” the military said in an emailed statement. 

A military spokesman did not return calls seeking details.

The Pakistan government put an unofficial moratorium on executions in 2008. Since then, only one person has been executed, a soldier convicted by a military court of murdering a fellow officer.

But calls for the swift reinstatement of the death penalty have grown since the attack on a military-run high school in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday. Nine staff and 132 children were killed.

The Pakistani Taliban said the attack was revenge for a military operation that they said had harmed their own families.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said executions would resume but did not say when. Around 8,000 people are on death row in Pakistan, where the court systems are notoriously slow and unreliable.

Reporting by Katharine Houreld; editing by Andrew Roche

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