FAISALABAD: Four death-row prisoners, who were convicted for involvement in an attack on former military ruler Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, were executed on Sunday at a district jail in Faisalabad.

Civilians Zubair Ahmed, Rasheed Qureshi, Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti and Russian citizen Akhlaque Ahmed were shifted from Faisalabad Central jail to the death cell in a district jail late on Saturday.

The prisoners had to be shifted to a district jail under strict security measures because the lever which is used to open the trapdoor to carryout hangings was not present in the Central jail.

Family members of the death-row prisoners were allowed to meet the convicts for the last time prior to the hanging.

Securitywas tightened in the city to avoid any untoward incident. Additional contingents of security personnel were deployed while containers and barricades were placed on the routes leading to the district jail.

Read: Army chief signs death warrants of six convicts

Similarly preparations were underway in Lahore for the execution of four death row prisoners in Kot Lakhpat Central Jail. The executions are expected to be carried out within the next 24-36 hours. All routes leading to the jail were sealed with the deployment of military personnel and installation of cellphone jammers around the jail premises.

In Sukkur, authorities called in the relatives of two terrorists, belonging to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi who had been sentenced to death 10 years ago in a sectarian killing case, to hold a final meeting on Monday.

Read: Militant siege of Peshawar school ends, 141 killed

An antiterrorism court on Friday had issued black warrants for Attaullah alias Qasim and Mohammad Azam alias Sharif who had been given death sentence by an antiterrorism court in July 2004 for killing Dr Ali Raza Peerani on sectarian grounds in June 2001 in the Soldier Bazaar area.

Both terrorists were arrested from Karachi. Tuesday has been decided the day of their execution.

Earlier on Friday, two former military men were executed in the Faisalabad district jail. Usman a former soldier of the army’s medical corps, was executed in relation to an attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army in 2009 in Rawalpindi. Arshad Mehmood, who was a trooper and also hanged, was among five convicts who were handed out the death sentence for their role in an Al Qaeda-inspired assassination attempt on Musharraf’s life in late 2003.

The hangings on Friday were the first death sentences carried out after the government ended a six-year moratorium on executions on Wednesday, in response to the Peshawar tragedy.

In response, Taliban groups released messages vowing revenge for the deaths of their comrades-in-arms.

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