Taliban Cut Off My Nose, Ears for Voting: Farmer

Kabul hospital turned him away due to overcrowding
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2009 7:50 PM CDT
An Afghan farmer winnows paddy at a farm in Narang district near Pakistani border in Kunar province eastern Afghanistan, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

(Newser) – An Afghan farmer who dared walk to a polling place for the presidential election 10 days ago paid a bitter price, losing his nose and both ears in a Taliban attack, the Independent reports. In the first account by a victim of election retribution, Lal Mohammed, 40, says three militants beat him to the ground, where one sat on his chest and sliced off his ears and nose. Mohammed's assailants left him lying on the road, perhaps as an example to others.

Drifting in and out of consciousness, Mohammed rode a donkey to a taxi that drove him to a Kabul hospital—which turned him away due to overcrowding. He borrowed about $400 to buy medicine and is trying to recover at home, where he sobs when describing his ordeal: "Poor people suffer in this country, I do not know whether the elections will change that," he says. "I do not think I will try to vote again, I am now very frightened." (Read more Afghanistan stories.)