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)
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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