MOSCOW, January 17 (Sputnik) — Five men, allegedly involved in a horrendous massacre at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan in December 2014, have been arrested by Afghani security forces.
"The men, all foreigners, helped support the Dec. 16 assault by the Taliban at the Army Public School and College in the city of Peshawar… The men were arrested in recent weeks near Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan," the Associated Press reported citing Afghan officials, who spoke on conditions of anonymity.
On December 16, nine gunmen linked, reportedly, to the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) militant group, attacked the Army Public school in Peshawar, a northwestern city of Pakistan. The extremists burst into the building and opened fire at random. Witnesses also reported 15 loud blasts inside the school building. The assault resulted in the deaths of 150 people, at least 132 of them children. Shortly after the deadly attack Taliban spokesman Mohammed Khurasani claimed responsibility for the massacre in a phone call to Agence France Presse news agency.
The brazen Peshawar attack sparked a wave of outrage across Pakistan. In response to the assault Afghan President Ashraf Ghani pledged solidarity with Islamabad, despite a longstanding rivalry between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He held talks with Pakistani General Raheel Sharif aimed at strengthening mutual collaboration on fighting cross-border terrorism, the Associated Press narrated.
Citing Western diplomats and military officials, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, the media outlet stated that Kabul-Islamabad cooperation has recently reached an exceptionally high level. An unnamed Western diplomat informed the Associated Press that five individuals captured by Afghani security forces would be most likely used "in a prisoner swap deal with Pakistan." However, it is not yet clear whom Islamabad would give Kabul in return amid a recent thaw in relations between the states.
The two countries have long been blaming each other of sheltering extremist groups which sporadically carry out devastating attacks against both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Currently Islamabad is involved into a military campaign aimed at destroying terrorist hideouts in its mountainous tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan.
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