Couple stoned to death for affair
A young couple have been stoned to death by the Taliban in Afghanistan for eloping.
The married young man and a single woman in Kunduz province's Dasht-e-Archi district were planning to run away after being prevented from marrying.
The woman, Sadiqa, 20, was engaged to another man, said Kunduz provincial police chief Gen Abdul Raza Yaqoubi.
She and the man, 28-year-old Qayum had hidden in a friend's house, intending to make their escape.
They were discovered by the Taliban on Sunday and stoned to death in front a crowd of about 150 men.
Amnesty International said it was the first confirming stoning in Afghanistan since the fall of Taliban rule in the 2001 US-led invasion. The Taliban-ordered killing comes at a time when international rights groups have raised worries that attempts to negotiate with them to bring peace to Afghanistan could mean a step backward for human rights in the country.
When the Islamist extremists ruled Afghanistan, women were not allowed to leave their houses without a male guardian, and public killings for violations of their harsh interpretation of the Koran were common. In the stoning, first the woman was brought out of the house and killed. Then 30 minutes later the man was killed.
A spokesman for the provincial government condemned the act.
"It is against all human rights and international conventions," said Mabubullah Sayedi. "There was no court. It was cruel."
Amnesty International called the stoning a "heinous crime" that showed the Taliban and other insurgent groups "are growing increasingly brutal in their abuses against Afghans".