April 15, 2009

Taliban executed couples for adultery

The Taliban has publicly executed a young unmarried couple in southern Afghanistan. The woman, 19, and the man, 21, were accused by the militants of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed, said Ghulam Dastagir Azad, the governor of the southwestern province of Nimroz. Terming the brutal incident an ‘insult to Islam’ he said local religious leaders had ordered a death sentence for the couple.

The two had fled their homes and hoped to travel to Iran, but their parents sent villagers to bring them home, said Sadiq Chakhansori, the chief of Nimroz' provincial council. Once back home, the pair was either turned over to the Taliban by their parents or the militants came and took them by force, the officials said, providing slightly varying accounts.

A similar incident happened in Hangu district of North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, which is outside the purview of Pakistan government.

A man and a woman, who were accused of committing adultery, were gunned down by the Taliban in northwest Pakistan a few days ago.

The chilling video footage of the execution was sent to the Dawn newspaper yesterday. It shows a Taliban firing squad killing the man and woman, both apparently in their forties, after accusing them of adultery.

They were shot dead in the presence of their relatives. The newspaper quoted its sources as saying that the incident took place in Hangu district of North West Frontier Province.

In this video, the woman is heard appealing to the Taliban militants for mercy. Have mercy on me, please have mercy. The charges against me are false and no man has ever touched me, she is heard saying.

The couple try to flee when they realise what is about to happen.But the militant first shoot the woman by firing two bullets in her chest and later open a burst of Kalashnikov fire at both the woman and the man, leaving them bleeding in the dirt. But the woman is still seen breathing, and the Talibans start yelling that she is alive and issuing orders to "kill her, kill her".

Sources told the channel that the Taliban had asked the relatives of the woman and the man to present the two before them for questioning at a specified place. The relatives brought both of them to the Taliban, who killed them in cold blood.


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