Two men publicly executed as thousands watch on, in killing ordered by Taliban

By Isaac M February 24, 2024

Two men were shot dead in a double execution hosted at a stadium in Afganistan and ordered by the Taliban.

Thousands watched on as the men – Syed Jamal from central Wardak province and Gul Khan from Ghazni – were shot dead by the relatives of people killed in stabbing attacks.

The pair were ruled to have been responsible by the Taliban’s Supreme Court for the deaths of two victims in the separate attacks, but it was unclear if they themselves carried out the stabbings.

Crowds were gathered outside the stadium in the Ali Lala area of the city of Ghazni on Thursday to watch the execution, as religious scholars pleaded with the relatives to forgive Jamal and Khan.

However, the executions started shortly before 1pm, when 15 bullets were fired at the accused by the victims’ families, eight at one and seven at the other.

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From November: Taliban targeting former soldiers

Supreme Court spokesman Abdul Rahim Rashid said the two were shot from behind. Their bodies were then taken by ambulances.

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In a statement, the court said three lower courts and the Taliban’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, had ordered the executions in retribution for their alleged crimes.

Thursday’s killings marked the third and fourth public executions since the Taliban seized power over Afghanistan in 2021, after US and NATO forces chaotically withdrew from the country.

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From January 2022: ‘This really is utterly horrendous’

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan recorded at least 237 extrajudicial executions between 15 August 2021 and 15 June 2022, according to Amnesty International.

During their previous rule in the late 1990s, the Taliban regularly carried out public executions, floggings and stonings.

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