The Taliban executed a young couple in front of a firing squad for trying to elope in a lawless, militant-controlled region of southern Afghanistan, officials said today. The woman, 19, and the man, 21, were accused by the militants of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed. The pair fled their homes and hoped to travel to Iran, but their parents sent villagers to bring them home.
The pair was either turned over to the Taliban by their parents or the militants came and took them by force, the officials said, providing slightly varying accounts. Riflemen shot them with AK-47s yesterday in the remote district of Khash Rod, where the Taliban operate as a shadow government.