Public Execution of Afghan Woman Draws Condemnation

Posted July 9th, 2012 at 8:40 am (UTC-5)
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The head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has condemned the public execution of a young woman by a member of the Taliban in Parwan province.

General John Allen described the videotaped shooting in a village near Kabul as “an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty.”

The woman was accused of being romantically involved with two members of the Taliban. Male villagers are heard cheering on the tape after the woman was shot at close range. Some villagers shouted “long live the Afghan mujahedeen,” a reference to the Taliban.

General Allen said the Taliban's “continued brutality” toward innocent civilians, particularly women, “must be condemned in the strongest terms.”

The Afghan government said the execution was “un-Islamic” and “inhuman” and has ordered the Parwan police to find the culprits and bring them to justice.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said “we are going to investigate thoroughly this video and we will

find those culprits and those Taliban who are behind this act of violence, terrorism and brutal act. There is no definition, no meaning for this any more.''

Parwan officials say the public shooting happened late last month.

Afghan women's rights activists have raised concerns about the status of women once international combat forces withdraw from the war-torn country. There is particular concern about U.S. and Afghan efforts to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.

Under Taliban rule in the 1990s women were not allowed to work, get an education or leave the house without a male escort.

Separately on Monday, NATO confirmed that the six coalition soldiers who were killed in Sunday's roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan were American. A seventh U.S. soldier was killed in an insurgent attack in the south on Sunday.

The Taliban said it planted the bomb that killed the six U.S. soldiers in Wardak province.

Sunday was a deadly day for Afghan civilians as well, with 14 killed in two roadside bombings in the southern province of Kandahar.

NATO spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz told reporters in Kabul on Monday, “yesterday was a tough day for Afghan civilians, coalition and Afghan forces. A number of people were killed or injured due to a number of roadside bombs and conflicts. I extend my sincere condolences to the loved ones, family members and friends of those who were killed or injured.”