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Feb 11, 6:04 AM EST

Pakistan army confirms death sentences for 12 militants


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ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan's powerful army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, on Thursday confirmed death sentences awarded by military courts to 12 "hardcore terrorists" over their involvement in a series of attacks against security forces, the military said.

In a statement, it said the men included a Pakistani Taliban militant, Muhammad Arbi, who abetted the 2012 attack on a jail in the northwestern district of Bannu. A large number of militants managed to escape when a group of Pakistani Taliban armed with rockets, guns and grenades attacked the jail.

The military said two al-Qaida operatives and two militants from an outlawed Sunni militant group were also included among the 12 terrorists who were tried by the military courts. The military has said it gives a fair trial to all suspects

Pakistan has hanged nearly 350 inmates, mostly routine criminals, since lifting a 2008 moratorium on executions in 2014 after a Taliban attack on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar killed 150 people, mostly children.

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