Islamist Group Executes Two in Northern Mali

Posted July 30th, 2012 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Islamist militants in northern Mali say they have executed a man and a woman for alleged adultery.

Sanda ould Bouamama, a spokesman for militant group Ansar Dine, told VOA the group carried out the executions Sunday in Aguelhok, a small town in Mali's Kidal region.

Bouamama said the man and woman received, in his words, “the punishment called for under Islam: death.”

The French news agency AFP reports the couple was placed in two holes and stoned to death in front of some 200 people in the center of Aguelhok.

Islamist groups and Tuareg separatists seized control of northern Mali in April, after renegade soldiers toppled the government in Mali's capital, Bamako.

The al-Qaida-linked Islamists have since taken full control of the north and imposed a strict version of Islamic law, despite protests from much of the population.

On Sunday, Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traore announced plans to overhaul his transitional government and request foreign help in retaking the north.

The speech was his first address to the Malian people since his return to Bamako Friday from medical treatment in France. Anti-government protesters stormed the presidential palace in May and severely beat Mr. Traore in his office.