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Pakistan Sentences 6 to Death for School Massacre

  • Fern Robinson

FILE - A child supporter of political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), hold sign with others to condemn the attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School in Peshawar, during a rally in Lahore, Dec. 21, 2014.

FILE - A child supporter of political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), hold sign with others to condemn the attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School in Peshawar, during a rally in Lahore, Dec. 21, 2014.

A closed Pakistani military court sentenced six men to death after convicting them for their involvement last year in the Taliban massacre of 134 children at an army-run school in Peshawar, the military said Thursday.

The six civilians confessed to helping the gunmen who attacked the school in December, according to a military statement.

"The convicts were given fair trial by following all the legal formalities and offering/providing them legal aid and defense councils," the statement said.

It also said the death sentences were "confirmed by the Chief of Army Staff" and that the men had the right to a court of appeals hearing.

Pakistan's Supreme Court recently ruled that the closed military courts are legal and can impose the death penalty on civilians.

Pakistan observed three days of national mourning after the attack on the school. The massacre of 134 children prompted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to reinstate the death penalty just two days after the attack.

The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out the attack in retaliation for the army's push to go after the insurgents.

Authorities said the attack began when seven militants carrying ammunition and explosives used a ladder to scale a back wall at the school. When they reached a student assembly in a packed auditorium, they opened fire.

From there, witnesses said the attackers went from classroom to classroom, methodically killing everyone they could reach. The militants wounded more than 100 children.

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