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Army chief ratifies death sentence of 13 terrorists including climber killer

ISLAMABAD: Army Chief General Raheel Sharif Tuesday ratified death sentence of 13 ‘hardcore terrorists’ found guilty of terrorism-related offences including the 2013 massacre of 10 foreign mountaineers, said the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) member Irfan Ullah was sentenced for the attack on the base camp at Nanga Parbat, Pakistan’s second highest mountain, which shocked the world and scarred the country’s climbing tourism industry.

Gunmen dressed in police uniforms stormed the camp and shot dead 10 foreign mountaineers — including one American with dual Chinese citizenship, two other Chinese, three Ukrainians, two Slovakians, one Lithuanian and one Nepalese and a Pakistani guide.

“Today Chief of Army Staff confirmed death sentences awarded to another 13 hardcore terrorists, who were involved in committing heinous offences relating to terrorism, including killing of foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat,” the ISPR said in a statement.

The other 12 had been charged with various severe crimes from attacking schools and an airport, to killing security officials, civilians and damaging helicopters.

Pakistan has hanged more than 300 people since lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in December 2014.

The nuclear-armed South Asian nation lifted the six-year moratorium and amended the constitution to allow military courts to try hardcore militants after Taliban gunmen killed more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.

In June 2014, the army launched an operation in a bid to wipe out militant bases in North Waziristan tribal area and end the bloody decade-long Islamist insurgency that has cost thousands of lives.

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