Taliban execute woman by firing squad for 'adultery'

Jul 10, 2012

Hamid Karzai says he has ordered the arrest of Najiba's murderers but manhunt will be hard

Getty Images

AFGHAN PRESIDENT Hamid Karzai has ordered the arrest of the Taliban members who carried out the brutal public execution of a woman accused of adultery late last month. Twenty-two-year-old Najiba's murder has drawn condemnation from the international community.

Video of the killing shows the young woman squatting in her burka in front of a crowd of around 100 men in Parwan province. A man reads verses from the Koran condemning adultery and says: "We cannot forgive her, God tells us to finish her. Juma Khan, her husband, has the right to kill her."

Another man then opens fire on the back of her head with an assault rifle from a few feet away. The first two shots miss Najiba but the third hits. She collapses and the man continues to shoot into her body.

The crowd, who are watching from a nearby hill, shout: "Long live Islam!" and "Long live the Mujahideen!" It has been claimed the woman was married to one Taliban commander but had an affair with another, says The Daily Telegraph.

A spokesman for Karzai said the manhunt for the woman's murderers would be hampered by the mountainous terrain in the area. Nato forces said they would have joined the search, but had not been asked to help.

Yesterday, Karzai said: "The murder of a woman who has had no voice to raise for her self-defence against the weapon and brutality of a number of criminals is a clear symbol of the cowardice and wickedness of her murderers".

He ordered their arrest, telling troops "not to spare any efforts in arresting and punishing the perpetrators". The provincial governor said troops had been sent to the area after the killing but the guilty parties had escaped, perhaps wearing women's burkas.

General John Allen, commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, condemned the attack, saying: "Let's be clear, this wasn't justice, this was murder, and an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty.

"The Taliban's continued brutality toward innocent civilians, particularly women, must be condemned in the strongest terms." The US government issued a statement condemning the killing as "cold-blooded murder".

In 2010, Bibi Sanubar, was flogged and then shot three times in the head by a Taliban commander in Qadis district. She was reported to have been executed because she was pregnant: even though her husband was long dead, sex with another man counted as adultery.

Sign up for our daily newsletter