Eloping mixed-sect couple executed by firing squad in remote Afghanistan area
A young couple have been executed for trying to elope, by being shot with AK-47s by a Taleban firing squad in front of a crowd, it emerged yesterday.
The woman, Gul Pecha, 19, and the man, Abdul Aziz, 21, had been accused by the militants in south-western Afghanistan of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided they should be killed on Monday, officials said.
The two had hoped to travel to Iran, which borders their home province of Nimroz, but their parents sent villagers to bring them home, said provincial council chief Sadiq Chakhansori.
Nimroz lies largely outside government control, and officials offered limited and sometimes varying details of the couple’s last hours.
Sadiq Chakhansori, the chief of Nimroz’s provincial council, said that the pair attempted to flee to Iran, where several million Afghan refugees take up low-paid jobs.
However, their families were reported to have dispatched gunmen to pursue them, said Mr Chakhansori, and they were caught. Reports differ over whether the families turned them over to local Taleban voluntarily or the Taleban took them by force.
“Three Taleban mullahs brought them to the local mosque and they passed a fatwa that they must be killed. They were shot and killed in front of the mosque in public,” the governor said.
Elopements are regarded as deeply damaging to family honour across Afghan society and murders of women by male relatives are frequently reported. In this instance it is not clear whether the families were complicit in the murders.
Even in government-held areas killings in which there is a clear honour motive are rarely investigated.
‘Honour’ killings are a form of barbarism based on Wahhabism. In recent years incidences of ‘honor killings‘ committed by Muslims have risen in the civilized world.
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