Afghan officials say 5 arrested for Pakistan school massacre

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Afghan officials say 5 arrested for Pakistan school massacre
To go with story 'Pakistan-unrest-schools-activism' by Issam Ahmed In this photograph taken on January 16, 2015, a Pakistani protester carries a placard featuring of pictures of students who died in the Peshawar attack on an army-run school during a protest by civil society activists in Islamabad. One month on from a Taliban school massacre in Peshawar that left 150 dead a new movement is growing among marginalised urban liberals rallying to 'Reclaim Pakistan' from violent extremism. AFP PHOTO / Farooq NAEEM (Photo credit should read FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images)
To go with story 'Pakistan-unrest-schools-activism' by Issam Ahmed In this photograph taken on January 16, 2015, a Pakistani protester carries a placard featuring of pictures of students who died in the Peshawar attack on an army-run school during a protest by civil society activists in Islamabad. One month on from a Taliban school massacre in Peshawar that left 150 dead a new movement is growing among marginalised urban liberals rallying to 'Reclaim Pakistan' from violent extremism. AFP PHOTO / Farooq NAEEM (Photo credit should read FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images)
To go with story 'Pakistan-unrest-schools-activism' by Issam Ahmed In this photograph taken on January 16, 2015, Muhammad Jibran Nasir (C), a 27-year-old lawyer who has played a key role in organising demonstrations, speaks to civil society activists in Islamabad. One month on from a Taliban school massacre in Peshawar that left 150 dead a new movement is growing among marginalised urban liberals rallying to 'Reclaim Pakistan' from violent extremism. AFP PHOTO / Farooq NAEEM (Photo credit should read FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators hold placards and candles during a protest against terrorism outside the Pakistan High Commission in London, England, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. The protesters oppose what the organisers call the abuse of religion to incite violence against any minority, religion or sect, during their protest to mark one month anniversary since the Peshawar school attack on Dec 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Activists of Pakistan's civil society groups condemn the Taliban's attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, during a rally Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in Lahore, Pakistan. Civil society groups held protests in Pakistani cities a month after the terrorist attack on Peshawar's Army Public School, where 150 people, mostly children, were killed. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
Members of Pakistan's civil society groups light candles and shout anti-Taliban slogans to condemn the militant group's attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, during a rally Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, outside the Parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan. Civil society groups held protests in Pakistani cities a month after the terrorist attack on Peshawar's Army Public School, where 150 people, mostly children, were killed. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
Activists of Pakistan's civil society groups condemn the Taliban's attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, during a rally Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in Lahore, Pakistan. Civil society groups held protests in Pakistani cities a month after the terrorist attack on Peshawar's Army Public School, where 150 people, mostly children, were killed. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
Demonstrators hold placards with pictures of Peshawar school victims and candles during a protest against terrorism outside the Pakistan High Commission in London, England, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. The protesters oppose what the organisers call the abuse of religion to incite violence against any minority, religion or sect, during their protest to mark one month anniversary since the Peshawar school attack on Dec 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Pakistani students of a government-run girls school pray for the victims of Taliban attack on the Army Public School, as schools opened on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 in Peshawar, Pakistan. Pakistani children and staff returned to a school in northwestern Pakistan where Taliban gunmen nearly a month ago killed 150 people — almost all of them students.(AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
FILE - In this file photo taken Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, Pakistani security personnel check students at a government-run girls school reopened after a Taliban attack in Peshawar, Pakistan. The country and Afghanistan, home to al-Qaida and Taliban militants and the focus of the longest war in U.S. history, face a new, emerging threat from the Islamic State group, officials have told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad, File)
A Pakistani mother carries a picture of her son who was killed in the Taliban's attack on a school nearly a month ago with 150 people - almost all of them students, during a visit of Pakistan's cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan at the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. The parents of deceased students who lost their children chanted, "Go Imran Go," while holding placards rejecting Imran Khan's visit. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
A Pakistani student looks out from a vehicle on his way home outside the Army Public School, which was targeted by Taliban militants last year, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Children and staff returned to a school in northwestern Pakistan where Taliban gunmen nearly a month ago killed 150 people - almost all of them students. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Demonstrators hold placards and candles during a protest against terrorism outside the Pakistan High Commission in London, England, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. The protesters oppose what the organisers call the abuse of religion to incite violence against any minority, religion or sect, during their protest to mark one month anniversary since the Peshawar school attack on Dec 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Demonstrators hold placards and candles during a protest against terrorism outside the Pakistan High Commission in London, England, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. The protesters oppose what the organisers call the abuse of religion to incite violence against any minority, religion or sect, during their protest to mark one month anniversary since the Peshawar school attack on Dec 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Activists of Pakistan's civil society groups condemn the Taliban's attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, during a rally in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Civil society groups held protests in Pakistani cities a month after the terrorist attack on Peshawar's Army Public School, where 150 people, mostly children, were killed. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
An Afghan refugee schoolgirl displays her hands decorated with Bangles and painted with Henna paste during class at a makeshift school on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. Pakistani children and staff returned to a school in northwestern Pakistan where Taliban gunmen nearly a month ago killed 150 people — almost all of them students. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
Pakistani students arrive arrive at their school on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 in Peshawar, Pakistan. Children and staff returned to a school in northwestern Pakistan where Taliban gunmen nearly a month ago killed 150 people — almost all of them students. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
A Pakistani student leaves the Army Public School with his mother in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. Children and staff returned to a school in northwestern Pakistan where Taliban gunmen nearly a month ago killed 150 people — almost all of them students. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Family members show a picture of a boy killed in a Taliban attack during a gathering at the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, Dec. 22, 23014. The school massacre last Tuesday horrified Pakistanis across the country. The militants, wearing suicide vests, climbed over the fence into a military-run school, burst into an auditorium filled with students and opened fire. The bloodshed went on for several hours until security forces finally were able to kill the attackers. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
Imran Khan, left, Pakistan's cricketer-turned politician comforts a family member of a student killed in a Taliban attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, Dec. 22, 23014. The school massacre last Tuesday horrified Pakistanis across the country. The militants, wearing suicide vests, climbed over the fence into a military-run school, burst into an auditorium filled with students and opened fire. The bloodshed went on for several hours until security forces finally were able to kill the attackers. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
Supporters of Pakistan Awami Tehreek hold up posters to condemn Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, as they participate in a rally Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 in Lahore, Pakistan. The school massacre on Tuesday horrified Pakistanis across the country. The militants, wearing suicide vests, climbed over the fence into a military-run school, burst into an auditorium filled with students and opened fire. The bloodshed went on for several hours until security forces finally were able to kill the attackers. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
Supporters of Pakistan Awami Tehreek pray and hold up posters to condemn Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, as they participate in a rally Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 in Lahore, Pakistan. The school massacre on Tuesday horrified Pakistanis across the country. The militants, wearing suicide vests, climbed over the fence into a military-run school, burst into an auditorium filled with students and opened fire. The bloodshed went on for several hours until security forces finally were able to kill the attackers. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
People offer prayers for the victims killed in Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar after Friday prayers in Peshawar, Pakistan, Dec. 19, 2014. Pakistani warplanes and ground forces killed at least 77 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said Friday, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people - most of them children - in a school massacre. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
A Pakistani university student places a candle on the sidewalk holding a banner during a protest to condemn Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Pakistani warplanes and ground forces killed at least 77 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said Friday, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people - most of them children - in a school massacre. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
A Pakistani university student uses her mobile phone to take a picture of her friends holding banners prior to a protest condemning Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Pakistani warplanes and ground forces killed at least 77 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said Friday, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people - most of them children - in a school massacre. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, photo, a Pakistani army officer, stands in front of a wall riddled with bullet marks inside the Army Public School, attacked last Tuesday by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Muhammed Muheisen/AP For Time Magazine)
Pakistani women attend a protest to condemn Tuesday's Taliban attack on the Army Public School, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Taliban massacre that killed more than 140 people, mostly children, at the military-run school in northwestern Pakistan left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation, pools of blood and young lives snuffed out as the nation mourned and mass funerals for the victims got underway. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Candles are placed by local residents around portraits of the victims killed in Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, at a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Taliban massacre that killed more than 140 people, mostly children, at the military-run school in northwestern Pakistan left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation, pools of blood and young lives snuffed out as the nation mourned and mass funerals for the victims got underway. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Indians lights candles during a prayer meeting in memory of the victims of Tuesday's Taliban attack in Peshawar, in Mumbai, India,Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Pakistani government and military vowed a stepped up campaign aimed at rooting out militant strongholds in the country's tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan after a Taliban massacre that killed more than 140 people, mostly children, on a military-run school. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Pakistani Sayed Shah, shows a picture of his son Zulqarnain, 17, a student who was killed in last Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Taliban massacre that killed more than 140 people, mostly children, at a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation, pools of blood and young lives snuffed out as the nation mourned and mass funerals for the victims got underway. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
A Pakistani Christian girl prays during a ceremony dedicated to victims killed in Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, at Our Lady of Fatima Church, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Taliban massacre that killed more than 140 people, mostly children, at a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation, pools of blood and young lives snuffed out as the nation mourned and mass funerals for the victims got underway. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
A girl holds a placard as she joins Indian journalists and political activists participating in a candle light vigil in memory of victims of Tuesday's Taliban attack in Peshawar, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Pakistanis mourned as mass funerals got underway Wednesday for more than 100, most of them children, killed the day before in a massacre by the Taliban at a military-run school in the country's troubled northwest. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
Pakistan army soldier stands guard at a school attacked by Taliban in Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Pakistan mourned as the nation prepares for mass funerals Wednesday for over 140 people, most of them children, killed in the Taliban massacre in a military-run school in the country’s northwest in the deadliest and most horrific attacks in years, officials said. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
A member of a civil society group holds an anti-Taliban placard to condemn Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar, as members of multiple groups join a demonstration Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan mourned as the nation prepares for mass funerals Wednesday for over 140 people, most of them children, killed in the Taliban massacre in a military-run school in the country’s northwest in the deadliest and most horrific attacks in years, officials said. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
An Indian youth holds a placard during a vigil in Mumbai on December 22, 2014, held for schoolchildren and teachers killed in an attack by Taliban militants on an army-run school in Peshawar. Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre. Six militants have been hanged since December 19 amid rising public anger over the December 16 slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children. AFP PHOTO/ PUNIT PARANJPE (Photo credit should read PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/12/23: Pakistani students of Study in School gather in a candlelight vigil for the massacre of the innocent school children at Peshawar school. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Pakistani children hold lighted candles during a vigil in Islamabad on December 22, 2014, held for schoolchildren and teachers killed in an attack by Taliban militants on an army-run school in Peshawar. Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre. Six militants have been hanged since December 19 amid rising public anger over the December 16 slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children. AFP PHOTO/ Aamir QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
A Pakistani lawyer holds flowers as he takes part with civil society activists holding lighted candles during a vigil in Islamabad on December 22, 2014, held for schoolchildren children and teachers killed in an attack by Taliban militants on an army-run school in Peshawar. Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre. Six militants have been hanged since December 19 amid rising public anger over the December 16 slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children. AFP PHOTO/ Aamir QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani troops keep watch near the Kot Lakhpat Jail on the outskirts of Lahore on December 22, 2014, following a government decision to hang convicted militants. Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre. Six militants have been hanged since December 19 amid rising public anger over the December 16 slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children. AFP PHOTO/ ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
A grieving Pakistani mother cries on the premises of an army-run school in Peshawar on December 22, 2014, where her son Ali was killed during the December 16 massacre by Taliban militants. Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre. Six militants have been hanged since December 19 amid rising public anger over the December 16 slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children. AFP PHOTO/A MAJEED (Photo credit should read A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PAKISTAN - DECEMBER 21: Pakistani Christians participate in candle light service at Cathedral Church where they prayed for the victims killed in Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, on December 21, 2014 in Lahore, Pakistan. The deadliest Taliban attack on an army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday has left at least 142 people dead, most of them students. (Photo by Rana Irfan Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PAKISTAN - DECEMBER 21: Pakistani Christians participate in candle light service at Cathedral Church where they prayed for the victims killed in Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, on December 21, 2014 in Lahore, Pakistan. The deadliest Taliban attack on an army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday has left at least 142 people dead, most of them students. (Photo by Rana Irfan Ali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
KARACHI, PAKISTAN - DECEMBER 21: A man wearing Santa Claus costume holds banner as he attends a demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, on December 21, 2014 to condemn the brutal Taliban assault on an army-run school in the north western city of Peshawar. The deadliest Taliban attack on an army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar on December 16 has left 148 people dead, most of them students. (Photo by Qaisar Khan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) activists rally for the victims of the Peshawar school massacre, in Lahore on December 21, 2014. Al-Qaeda's regional branch on December 21 said its hearts were 'bursting with pain' over the Taliban's massacre at a Pakistan school and urged the militants to target only security forces. AFP PHOTO / Arif ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/12/19: Pakistani students in army uniform attend the protest against the attack of Taliban gunmen in an Army Public School in Peshawar, at Lahore. The incident was said, the bloodiest massacre in the country seen for years, where 132 students and nine staff members killed . (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/12/19: Pakistani students in army uniform attend the protest against the attack of Taliban gunmen in an Army Public School in Peshawar, at Lahore. The incident was said, the bloodiest massacre in the country seen for years, where 132 students and nine staff members killed . (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Expatriate Pakistanis living in Bangladesh hold candles in Dhaka on December 19, 2014, during a vigil for the children and teachers killed in an attack by Taliban militants on an army-run school in Peshawar. A Taliban massacre at a school is 'Pakistan's 9/11', the country's top foreign policy official told AFP, saying the assault that left 149 dead would change the country's approach to fighting terror. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Expatriate Pakistanis living in Bangladesh hold candles in Dhaka on December 19, 2014, during a vigil for the children and teachers killed in an attack by Taliban militants on an army-run school in Peshawar. A Taliban massacre at a school is 'Pakistan's 9/11', the country's top foreign policy official told AFP, saying the assault that left 149 dead would change the country's approach to fighting terror. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan security services have arrested five men in connection with the massacre at a Pakistan military school last month that killed 150 people, most of them children, officials said Saturday.

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 three Afghan officials told The Associated Press. They said the men were arrested in recent weeks near Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to brief journalists about the arrests. Officials in Pakistan declined to immediately comment.

The attack in Peshawar, which saw seven Taliban gunmen in suicide bomb vests slaughter children gathered in the school's auditorium and hallways, shocked and enraged citizens across Pakistan.

Though the two countries long have been rivals, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has pledged to have closer relations with Pakistan. Within 24 hours of the school attack, Pakistan's chief of army staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif, flew to Kabul to meet with Ghani to discuss closer cooperation on combating cross-border terrorism.

Western diplomats and military officials have said the level of cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad since the Peshawar attack is unprecedented. One Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said those arrested by Afghanistan might be used in a prisoner swap deal with Pakistan. The diplomat did not say whom Afghanistan might get in return.

Both countries accuse each other of harboring terrorists on the other's territory, enabling them to plan and carry out assaults before sneaking across the mountainous borders they share. Pakistan is in the middle of an operation to attack suspected militant hideouts in its tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

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Associated Press writers Zarar Khan in Islamabad and Lynne O'Donnell contributed to this report.

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