A Taliban firing squad executed a young Afghan couple for trying to elope, it emerged today.
The woman, 19, and the man, 21, were accused by the militants of immoral acts and a council of clerics decided that they should be killed, said Ghulam Dastagir Azad, the governor of the south-western province of Nimroz.
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.
Riflemen in the remote district of Khash Rod shot the man and woman with AK-47s yesterday.
In remote and dangerous regions of Afghanistan, Taliban fighters operate what are sometimes referred to as shadow governments, where militant leaders serve as government officials and run their own police units and pseudo court systems.
The Afghan government has no access to the remote region where the two were shot.
The Taliban movement ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001 and put in place harsh social rules that forbade unmarried men and women to talk or meet in public. Women were not allowed out of their homes without a male relative, and girls could not go to school.
Taliban fighters have widened their influence the last three years and now control many remote districts in Afghanistan where there are not enough US, Nato or Afghan forces to establish a permanent presence.