Taliban hold first public execution of a woman

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The Independent Online

Thousands of people watched as a woman, cowering beneath a pale blue all-enveloping burqa, was shot and killed yesterday in the first public execution of a woman in Kabul since the Taliban religious army took control three years ago.

The woman, identified only as Zareena, who had seven children, was found guilty of beating her husband to death with a steel hammer as he slept two years ago.

Zareena was taken by two female police officers from the back of a truck in the sports stadium and escorted to the centre of the field, where she was ordered to sit. Behind her, a soldier aimed with his Kalashnikov, but Zareena tried to flee. Witnesses said a policewoman stopped her and forced her to sit. The soldier moved closer and shot her three times.

Under Taliban Islamic law, which controls 90 per cent of Afghanistan, murderers are publicly executed by relatives of their victims. The Taliban say their version of Islam is a pure one that follows a literal interpretation of the Koran.