Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reinstated the death penalty in terrorism cases after Taliban gunmen killed 132 children and nine teachers at a school in Peshawar.

Three days of mourning have begun after the country suffered its deadliest terror attack which saw nine men storm the army-run school on Tuesday.

Government spokesman Mohiuddin Wan said Mr Sharif had approved the lifting of a moratorium on death penalties.

He said: “It was decided that this moratorium should be lifted. The prime minister approved.

“Black warrants [execution orders] will be issued within a day or two.”


The moratorium on civilian executions had been in place since 2008. One execution has taken place since then.

It comes after a district government official confirmed a US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan killed 11 militants, including four Pakistan Taliban, on Tuesday.

In a separate incident, a suicide attack and gunfight are reportedly ongoing at a bank branch in Helmand.

Funerals of many of the victims of the Pakistan massacre have already taken place with the rest to follow later.

Mr Sharif described the attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.

“These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss,” he said.

Teenage survivor Shahrukh Khan, who ducked below his desk with classmates when four gunmen burst into their room, described how he played dead after being shot in both legs, stuffing his tie into his mouth to stifle his screams.

“I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches,” the 15-year-old said.

“The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again.

“My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me – I felt as though it was death that was approaching me.”

People in Peshawar have been posting memorials to friends and loved ones killed in the attack.

One written to Mubeen Shah on Facebook reads: “I don’t know how to sleep today, I don’t even know how to stop my tears.

“You will be missed my dear. May Allah curse them and rest your soul in Jannat and give courage to your family to beat this lost [sic].”

Hanging remains a possible sentence in Pakistan and judges continue to pass death sentences.

Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, around 10% of whom have been convicted of offences labelled “terrorism”, according to legal aid group Justice Project Pakistan.

Tehreek-e-Taliban insurgents moved from room to room during the eight hour attack on Tuesday in what is believed to have been an act of revenge for a major military offensive in the region.

Chief military spokesman General Asim Bajwa that 125 people had been wounded in the assault.

Gen Bajwa said the attackers, equipped with enough ammunition and food to last for a number of days, only wanted to kill.

“The terrorists started indiscriminate firing as they entered the auditorium so they had no intention of taking any hostages,” he said.

The Afghan Taliban issued a statement condemning the attack in Peshawar.

A statement from the UN Security Council condemned the “depraved” and “savage terrorist attack” against children and expressed condolences to the victims and their families.