Taliban Beheads 17 Over Afghan Music Event
Victims were celebrating with instruments, dancing
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 27, 2012 12:02 AM CDT
The area where the killings occurred is completely controlled by the Taliban, say officials.   (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)

(Newser) – Taliban insurgents beheaded 17 men and women yesterday for participating in a music event in Afghanistan's Helmand province, officials report. The decapitations occurred after people gathered for a celebration, and were playing music and dancing, according to the chief of the Musa Qala government. They were apparently punished for breaking religious strictures. The area where the slaughter took place is completely in Taliban control. Gunfire was also reported by witnesses, so the victims may have been shot before they were beheaded, AP reports.