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In Afghan Public Square, a Gruesome Display

Taliban hang dead body from crane in Herat, signaling return to group's ways of the past
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 25, 2021 9:15 AM CDT
In an Afghan Public Square, a Gruesome Display
Taliban leader Mullah Nooruddin Turabi poses for a photo in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. Mullah Turabi, one of the founders of the Taliban, says the hard-line movement will once again carry out punishments like executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

(Newser) – The Taliban hanged a dead body from a crane in the main square of Herat city in western Afghanistan, a witness said Saturday, in a gruesome display that signaled a return to some of the Taliban's methods of the past. Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the side of the square, told the AP that four bodies were brought to the main square and three bodies were moved to other parts of the city for public display.

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Seddiqi said the Taliban announced in the square that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping and were killed by police. Ziaulhaq Jalali, a Taliban-appointed district police chief in Herat, said later that Taliban members rescued a father and son who'd been abducted by four kidnappers after an exchange of gunfire. He said a Taliban fighter and a civilian were wounded by the kidnappers but "the four (kidnappers) were killed in crossfire."

Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan, told the AP this week that the hard-line movement will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public. Since the Taliban overran Kabul on Aug. 15 and seized control of the country, Afghans and the world have been watching to see whether they'll re-create their harsh rule of the late 1990s. The group's leaders remain entrenched in a deeply conservative, hard-line worldview, even if they're embracing technological changes, like video and mobile phones.

(Read more Taliban stories.)

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