An Anti-Terrorism Court on Wednesday sentenced four militants to death for killing 10 prison staff in an attack in Lahore three years ago, officials said.
The four men belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a militant group with links to Al Qaeda, shot dead the officers as they slept during a dawn raid on their hostel in July 2012. “The court has awarded death sentence to four militants for the 2012 attack on jail staff,” special prosecutor Shaikh Saeed told AFP. A court official confirmed the sentences. The convicts were also fined Rs. 1.8 million each, he added.
Pakistan lifted a moratorium on executions in terror cases in December after Taliban gunmen massacred more than 150 people at a school. The executions could take decades to be carried out, however, because of the lengthy appeals process allowed under law.
The four TTP militants, all in their 20s, confessed to carrying out the attack on the residential quarters for prison staff in the densely populated suburb of Ichra, Saeed said. After killing 10 during the dawn raid armed with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades, they then stormed another building where around 30 police prison officers were sleeping.
Many were injured as they fled into neighboring houses in a bid to save themselves from the volley of bullets, Saeed added.
The four men were arrested about a year after the attack when they were caught with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades at a bus stand in Lahore.
Pakistan amended its constitution and set up military courts last month for speedy trial of terrorism cases. Twenty-four people have been executed since the six-year moratorium on the death penalty was lifted.