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Pakistan army chief signs death warrants of 11 militants

World Desk : Pakistan’s army chief has confirmed the death sentences passed by military courts on 11 militants over various attacks on security forces as well as civilians that left dozens dead, the military said Saturday.

A statement issued by the military said that in total the assault left 60 dead — “36 civilians, 24 armed forces, Frontier Constabulary and police officials” — while a further 142 people were injured.

The offenses included attacks on armed forces and other law enforcement agencies, the destruction of various educational institutions and a deadly rampage at Bacha Khan university in the northwest in early 2016 that left 21 dead.

“The army chief also confirmed life imprisonment for three convicts,” the statement added.

Pakistan has been fighting a homegrown Islamist insurgency since 2004, when militants displaced by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan began a campaign in border tribal areas.

The military courts allow the army to try civilians on terror charges in secret, despite strong criticism from rights groups.

They were established in the wake of a December 2014 Taliban massacre at an army-run school in Peshawar that killed over 150 people, mostly school children.

Following that attack the government lifted the moratorium on the death penalty. Scores of militants have since been condemned to death.

Security has dramatically improved in Pakistan since then.

But in April 2017, parliament voted to extend the courts for another two years.

Saturday’s statement did not give a date for the executions, but hangings have often been carried out within 24-48 hours in the past.  AFP

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