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Arrests made after school massacre

Several people have been arrested in connection with the Taliban school attack that killed 148 in north-west Pakistan, according to officials.

Pakistan's interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said "quite a few suspects who were facilitators in one way or the other have been taken into custody" adding that the interrogations were "moving ahead in a positive manner".

He did not disclose their identities or say how many they were.

Seven Taliban gunmen wearing explosives belts stormed the military-run school in Peshawar on Tuesday and slaughtered 148 people, including 132 students.

Another nearly 121 students were wounded in the ensuing eight-hour siege of the school, located in an area where many military families live.

The group claims it fights to establish a ruling system based on its own harsh brand of Islam. It has killed thousands of people over nearly a decade.

The Taliban say they attacked the school in revenge for an army operation against them in North Waziristan, launched in mid-June. The army says it has so far killed more than 1,200 militants in the operation.

The government bombed the militants' hideouts in Pakistan's tribal area along the Afghan border in response, and also lifted a ban on the execution of convicted terrorists.

Over the weekend, it acted upon the lifting of the ban, executing six men convicted on terrorism charges.

Two of the convicts were hanged on Friday, and another four on Sunday, according to two Pakistani government officials.

All six belonged to local Pakistani militant groups who had turned against the state, and were convicted for involvement in two attempts to assassinate former President Pervez Musharraf. One was also convicted of leading a militant siege of Pakistani army headquarters in garrison city of Rawalpindi in 2009.

Local militants have threatened attacks to avenge the hanged men.


From Belfast Telegraph