Taliban penalises kidnappers, hang bodies in Herat city

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Dead bodies of four kidnappers were hung from cranes by the Taliban after killing them during a shootout in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat on Saturday, a senior official said.

The Guardian reports that Herat province’s deputy governor Mawlawi Shir Ahmad Muhajir said the men’s bodies were exhibited in several public areas on the same day as the killings to teach a “lesson” that kidnapping will not be allowed.

Graphic images circulated to social media revealed bloody bodies on the back of a pick-up truck while a crane lifted one man up.

Nexus News learned that a throng of people watched as armed Taliban fighters huddled around the vehicle.

Another video demonstrated a man suspended from a crane at a major roundabout in Herat with a sign on his chest reading: “Abductors will be punished like this”.

The show across several squares in the city comes to be the most high-profile public penalty since the Taliban came to power last month, and is a hint that the Islamist hardliners will use rigid standards similar to their last rule from 1996 to
2001.

According to Muhajir, security forces were notified a businessman and his son had been kidnaped in the city on Saturday morning.

Police closed down the roads out of the city and the Taliban stopped the men at a checkpoint, where “an exchange of fire happened”, he said.

“As a result of a few minutes of fighting, one of our Mujahideen was wounded and all four kidnappers were killed,” Muhajir said in a recorded statement mailed to AFP.

“We are the Islamic Emirate. No one should harm our nation. No one should kidnap,” he said in the video clip.

Muhajir put in that that before Saturday’s incident there had been other kidnappings in the city, and the Taliban rescued a boy.

One kidnapper was killed and three others were arrested, he said, although in another case the Taliban “failed and the abductors were able to make money”.

“It saddened us a lot because while we are in Herat, our people are being abducted,” Muhajir said.

“In order to be a lesson for other kidnappers not to kidnap or harass anyone, we hung them in the squares of the city and made this clear to everyone that anyone who steals or abducts or does any action against our people will be punished.” he added.

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