Taliban militants execute couple for eloping (Lead)

April 14th, 2009 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, April 14 (DPA) Taliban militants publicly executed a young couple for eloping in western Afghanistan, after the family of the young woman handed the pair over for Taliban justice.
Gholam Dastagir Azaad, the provincial governor for western Nimruz province, said relatives had found the couple hiding in a house in Khash Rud district of the province after they eloped.

The family then delivered the couple to Taliban militants in Lokhi area, some 40 km from the district centre.

“The militants senselessly killed both the boy and the girl by gunshots in front a crowd of villagers in an open area,” Azaad told DPA over telephone.

Under Islamic law, sex outside marriage is punishable by whipping, and unmarried people receive 80 lashes.

“The girl and boy were single and they liked each other,” the governor said. “They wanted to marry each other, but since their parents did not agree to the marriage, they eloped.”

Taliban militants banned women from going to school or work outside the home when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to late 2001. Women were not allowed to be seen in public unless accompanied by male members of their families.

The Taliban have steadily gained power in the past three years. In some remote areas of the country, militants have installed a parallel government where they once again mete out their harsh brand of Islamic justice.

Khosh Rud borders Helmand province, where the Taliban are the most active.

Azaad admitted that the government control in Khosh Rud district is weak, but said he had ordered the security forces in the province to arrest the “murderers” and the relatives responsible for it.

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