Five Pakistani men held in Afghanistan over school massacre: officials

An army soldier stands in the Army Public School, which was attacked by Taliban gunmen, in Peshawar, December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra (Reuters)

KABUL (Reuters) - Five Pakistani men have been arrested in Afghanistan in connection with the Taliban massacre of 134 school children in the Pakistani city of Peshawar last month, officials from both countries said on Sunday. The five were detained last week after Pakistan sent a list of suspects to security services in the neighboring nation, said the officials who asked not to be named. Taliban gunmen opened fire in the military-run school on Dec. 16, killing nine staff and the students, many of them the children of army personnel, in the country's bloodiest massacre in years. "We are investigating whether the five detained are the ones wanted by Pakistan," one of the Afghan officials told Reuters. Pakistan's Taliban is a separate organization from the Afghan Taliban, but both share the goals of toppling their respective governments and enforcing strict Islamist law across the region. One of the Pakistani officials said another 20-25 people had been detained in Pakistan but some had already been released. A second Pakistani official said that talks were underway with the government for the transfer of the five prisoners in Afghanistan to Pakistan. (Reporting by Hamid Shalizi and Jessica Donati in Kabul, and Katharine Houreld in Islamabad; Editing by Andrew Heavens)