Taliban militants have released a video showing execution of 15 Pakistani soldiers. A Pakistan Taliban (TTP) group, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the executions.
AFP reports the executed men were Frontier Corps personnel. Frontier Corps (FC) are paramilitary troops. They were kidnapped last month during a raid on a checkpoint in northwestern town of Tank. Their bodies had been found earlier in the month after they were kidnapped in northwestern Pakistan on December 23.
The video, which runs for almost two-and-a-half minutes, was released on Saturday. It begins with a scene showing the soldiers with their hands tied to their backs, and two masked gunmen guarding them.
The commander of the Taliban group is shown explaining in anger that they are taking revenge for the killing of 12 Taliban fighters in Khyber tribal district. The commander said: "Twelve of our comrades were besieged and mercilessly martyred in the Khyber Agency [area]. Our pious women were also targeted. To avenge those comrades, we will kill these men. We warn the government of Pakistan that if the killing of our friends is not halted, this will be the fate of you all."
One of the Pakistani soldiers who, according to AFP, says his name is Babar Khan, explains that he and the others were captured by Taliban militants at their outpost during the night. He explains: "The Taliban entered the fort and captured us with our weapons. They tied our hands, put us in a Datsun and took us away."
Then video then shows the captives standing in a row, blindfolded and handcuffed, with their backs turned to their captors. As the leader of the Taliban fighters loads his rifle, his men can be heard chanting: "We will cross all limits to avenge your blood." Reuters reports this refers to fighters killed by Pakistani security.
The Taliban commander then raises his rifle and begins shooting the prisoners in the back of their heads, while raising the Islamist war cry:" Allah-u-Akbar!" Other soldiers join him in shooting the captives.
The men were handcuffed together such that when one was shot the other was pulled in the direction of his fallen companion.
After the prisoners had all fallen to the ground, their killers stand over their bodies and one militant says: "If the killing of our friends is not stopped, this will be the fate of all infidel armies."
AFP reports that according to Pakistani officials, the executions were carried out in Shawa, a small town near the Afghan border in the North Waziristan tribal region.
According to Reuters, the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) is an umbrella group of Pakistan militants fighting in the country's tribal areas. They are allied with the Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda. Their aim is to overthrow the Pakistani government and have been responsible for suicide bombings in Pakistan. The Pakistan army, in-spite of its superior numbers, has been unable to defeat the insurgents. Talks between the two sides have not yielded any positive results.