Taliban hang four bodies
of kidnappers in Herat
to ‘reprimand’ others


KABUL: Taliban authorities in the western Afghan city of Herat killed four alleged kidnappers and hung their bodies up in public to deter others, a local government official said on Saturday.

Sher Ahmad Ammar, deputy governor of Herat, said the men had kidnapped a local businessman and his son and intended to take them out of the city, when they were seen by patrols that had set up checkpoints around the city.

An exchange of gunfire ensued in which all four were killed, while one Tali­ban soldier was wounded. “Their bodies were brou­ght to the main square and hung up in the city as a lesson for other kidnappers,” he said. The two victims were released unharmed, he said.

Herat resident Moham­mad Nazir said he had been shopping for food near the city’s Mostofiat Square when he heard a loudspea­ker ann­ouncement calling for public attention. “When I stepped forward, I saw they had brought a body in a pickup truck, then they hung it up on a crane,” he said.

Militant Taliban guarding area where human bodies were hanged in Herat.

Graphic images posted to social media showed bloody bodies on the back of a pick-up truck while a crane hoisted one man up. Another video showed 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”.

Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the side of the square, said that four bodies were brought to the main square and three bodies were moved to other parts of the city for public display. He said the Taliban anno­unced that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping and were killed by the police.

Ziaulhaq Jalali, a Taliban-appointed district police chief in Herat, said Taliban members rescued a father and son who had been abducted by four armed 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.

Herat Deputy Governor Mawlawi Shir Ahmad Muhajir said the corpses were displayed in various public areas on the same day as the killings to teach a “lesson” that kidnapping would not be tolerated.

People are watching the hanging of bodies in Herat

Muhajir said security forces received information that a businessman and his son had been abducted in the city on Saturday morning. Subsequently, police shut down the roads out of the city and the Taliban stopped the men at a checkpoint, ensuing an exchange of fire, he said. “As a result of a few minutes of fighting, one of our Mujahideen was wounded and all four kidnappers were killed,” the deputy governor said in a recorded statement.

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

Muhajir added 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,” the deputy governor claimed.

“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.

The display across several squares in the city is the most high-profile public punishment since the Taliban swept to power last month, and is a sign they will adopt fearsome measures similar to their previous rule.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, senior Taliban leader and prisons chief Mullah Nooruddin Turabi had warned that the group would restore punishments like amputations and executions to deter criminals.

Despite international condemnation, the Taliban said they would continue to impose swift and severe punishments on lawbreakers to stop crimes like robbery, murder and kidnapping that had become widespread in Afghanistan.

Washington, which condemned Mullah Nooruddin’s comments on punishments, said any potential recognition of the Taliban-led government in Kabul would depend on respect for human rights.

Also on Saturday, a Taliban official said a roadside bomb hit a Taliban car in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province wounding at least one person.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. The Islamic State group affiliate, which is headquartered in eastern Afghanistan, has said it was behind similar attacks in Jalalabad last week that killed 12 people.

Demo in Herat

The Taliban’s spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said on Sunday that hundreds of people gathered in Herat province asking the US and Europe to unfreeze the country’s reserves.
The gathered Afghans asked to unfreeze Afghanistan’s funds, Shaheen said adding that that the people of the country are facing poverty and economic recession. “Hundreds of people from different walks of life gathered in Herat, the western province of Afghanistan, calling on US and European countries to unfreeze the reserves of Afghanistan. They said, the people of Afghanistan are facing poverty and economic recession,” Shaheen said in a tweet on Sunday.
Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had put on hold funds to Afghanistan amid the rising uncertainty in the country.
The developments came after IMF recently announced a USD 650 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation for member countries, but Afghanistan at the moment will not be allowed to access these funds, Tolo News reported.
On September 16, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said at a press conference that Afghanistan will not have access to this grant because of the uncertainty over Afghanistan’s government.”Our engagement with Afghanistan has been suspended until there is clarity within the international community on the recognition of the government. We’re guided by the international community in terms of the recognition of the government in Afghanistan, and we don’t have that,” he added. (ANI)