Afghan Couple Stoned to Death on Taliban Orders

The Taliban on Sunday planned their first public implementations by stoning as their fall from power nine years ago, murder a young couple who had ineffectively tried to elope, according to Afghan officials and a witness.

The chastisement was carried out by hundreds of the victims’ neighbors and still their family members in a village in northern Kunduz region, according to Nadir Khan, 40, a local planter and Taliban sympathizer, who was interviewed by telephone.

As a Taliban mullah ready to read the decision of a religious “court,” Mr. Khan said the lovers, a 25-year-old man named Khayyam and a 19-year-old woman named Siddiqa, defiantly plead guilty in public to their relationship.

“They said, ‘We love every other no matter what occurs,’ ” Mr. Khan said.

The implementations were the newest in a series of cases where the Taliban have compulsory their harsh version of Shariah law for social crimes, evocative of their performance during their decade-long rule of the country. In recent years Taliban officials have sought to play down their gory punishments of the past as they intense on building up popular support.

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