MULTAN: Two convicts, belonging to the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Sunni sectarian group, were hanged till death at the New Central Jail Multan on Wednesday early morning, DawnNews reported.

The latest executions have brought the number of those hanged until death to nine. The executions started as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the moratorium on capital punishment in the country in the aftermath of the Peshawar carnage that left some 150 people, most of them children, dead.

Prison officials had already received the death warrants for the two men a couple of days ago. The warrants were issued by anti-terrorism courts as mercy petitions of the convicts had been rejected by the president.

Know more: Death for terrorism

Ahmed Ali, a resident of Shorkot, Jhang district, was handed capital punishment for killing three men: Altaf Hussain, Mohammad Nasir and Mohammad Fiaz and injuring Mohammad Pervez and Mohammad Siddique on the Railway Road in 1998.

Ghulam Shabbir, a resident of Talamba area of Khanewal district had killed Deputy Superintendent of Police Anwar Khan and his driver Ghulam Murtaza on the Bohar Gate Road on Aug 4, 2000. Charges of sectarian violence were also proved against him.

He was sentenced to death by a special anti-terrorism court on June 21, 2002, and the conviction was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

Both convicted men were hanged at 6am. Both were involved in murder cases and both belonged to Sipah-e-Sahaba,” said Saeed Ullah Gondal, an official at the central jail in the city of Multan.

Earlier, strict security measures were taken around the jail precincts and the adjoining areas. Army personnel were deployed outside the jail, while elite force personnel were positioned inside the prison premises.

Also read: “Death to terrorists” chants outside Army Public School

Following the removal of moratorium, President Mamnoon Hussain has turned town mercy appeals of 17 convicts for death penalty. Since then, nine prisoners have been executed.

After the moratorium was lifted, the first executions took place on Dec 20, 2014. Aqeel alias Dr Usman and Arshad Mehmood were executed in Faisalabad on that day.

Usman was a former soldier of the army’s medical corps. He was executed in relation to an attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army in 2009 in Rawalpindi, while Arshad Mehmood was executed for an assassination attempt on former military ruler, General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf.

A couple of days later, on Dec 22, 2014, four more convicts: Zubair Ahmed alias Tauseef, Ikhlas Ahmed alias Roosi, Ghulam Sarwar and Rashid Mehmood alias Teepu were also hanged at district jail in Faisalabad. All four militants were convicted of their involvement in an attack on former president Pervez Musharraf.

Later, on Dec 31, 2014, Niaz Mohammad, a former Pakistan Air Force junior technician who was also convicted in the Pervez Musharraf assassination attempt case was executed at the Peshawar Central Prison.

Even now though, 7791 prisoners are on death row in the country.

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