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Pakistan: Army courts sentence 11 Taliban militants to death

Taliban fighters
Taliban fighters
The 11 belonged to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan which is waging a bloody insurgency against the military and the government.

Pakistan military courts have sentenced 11 Taliban militants to death for terrorism-related offences, the army said on Tuesday.

The nation has hanged hundreds of people -- 326 last year alone -- since lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in December 2014.

The "hardcore terrorists" had been convicted of offences including killing and kidnapping civilians, attacks on the armed forces and police, and destruction of schools and communications infrastructure, an army statement said.

The 11 belonged to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan which is waging a bloody insurgency against the military and the government.

Pakistan has been battling a homegrown Islamist insurgency for over a decade following its decision to side with the US-led coalition which toppled the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Since June 2014 its troops have been engaged in a full-scale offensive against Taliban and other militants in the North Waziristan and Khyber tribal districts in the northwest.

The fight gained renewed impetus following a Taliban massacre at a Peshawar army school in December 2014 in which 134 children were killed.

The attack sparked widespread outrage and led to a series of measures aimed at combating terror.

Among other measures the government ended a six-year moratorium on executions -- initially only for people convicted of terrorism but later for all capital offences.

Pakistan also amended its constitution to allow military courts to try terror suspects for a 2-year period.

Supporters of the courts say cases previously dragged on for years and many suspects escaped punishment due to legal loopholes or intimidation of witnesses.

But the country's growing use of the death penalty has come in for international criticism.

General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff, Tuesday confirmed death sentences awarded to another 11 hardcore terrorists, who were involved in committing heinous offences.

According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the convicts were involved in killings and kidnappings civilians, attacks on Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Agencies, destruction of schools and communication infrastructure.

The convicts were tried by military courts.

Details of each case:

1. Muhammad Umar S/O Daleel Khan. The convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in attacking Armed Forces of Pakistan and Law Enforcement Agencies which resulted in death of soldiers and injuries to police officials. He was also involved in fabrication of explosives. He admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on 3 charges and awarded death sentence.

2. Hameedullah S/O Muhammad Ghazi (Convict Number 1), Rehmatullah S/O Umar Din (Convict Number 2), Muhammad Nabi S/O Dilawar Shah (Convict Number 3) and Moulvi Dilbar Khan S/O Kashkar (Convict Number 4). These four convicts were active members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. They were involved in attacking Law Enforcement Agency which resulted in death of Senior Superintendent of Police Muhammad Hilal Khan, Colonel Mustafa Jamal and Captain Ishfaq. They were also in possession of fire arms and explosives. The convicts admitted their offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. Convict numbers 1 and 2 were tried on 3 charges, convict number 3 was tried on 2 charges and convict number 4 was tried on 1 charge and all were awarded death sentence.

3. Rizwan Ullah S/O Taj Mir Khan. The convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in killing of a civilian, kidnapping WAPDA employee and attacking Armed Forces which resulted in injuries to an officer and a soldier. He was also in possession of fire arms and explosives. He admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on 5 charges and awarded death sentence.

4.Gul Rehman S/O Zareen. The convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in attacking Armed Forces which resulted in death of a civilian and a soldier. He was also in possession of explosives. The convict admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on 2 charges and awarded death sentence.

5. Muhammad Ibrahim S/O Maseen. The convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in attacking Armed Forces and destruction of Babu Chamtalai Bridge which resulted in death of civilians and a soldier. He was also in possession of explosives. The convict admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on 4 charges and awarded death sentence.

6. Sardar Ali S/O Muhammad Akram Khan. The convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in attacking Armed Forces and destruction of educational institutions which resulted in injuries and death of soldiers. He was also in possession of explosives. The convict admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on 3 charges and awarded death sentence.

7. Sher Muhammad Khan S/O Ahmed Khan. The convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in killing of a civilian and attacking Armed Forces which resulted in injuries and death of soldiers. He was also in possession of fire arms and explosives. The convict admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on 4 charges and awarded death sentence.

8. Muhammad Jawad S/O Muhammad Musa. The convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in attacking Law Enforcement Agencies and killing of a civilian. He was also in possession of fire arms, ammunition and explosives. The convict admitted his offences before the trial court. He was tried on 4 charges and awarded death sentence.

Source: samaa.tv, May 3, 2016

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