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Karzai Strongly Condemns Public Execution of Afghan Woman

July 10, 2012

Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned on Monday the public execution of a young woman by the Taliban.

Mr. Karzai called the act in the northern province of Parwan a “heinous and unforgivable crime,” and he ordered authorities to do everything possible to arrest and punish those responsible.

The head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, described the videotaped shooting in as “an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty.” He said the Taliban's “continued brutality” toward innocent civilians, particularly women, “must be condemned in the strongest terms.”

Parwan officials say the public shooting happened late last month.

The woman was accused of being romantically involved with two members of the Taliban. Male villagers are heard cheering on the tape after the woman was shot at close range. Some villagers shouted “long live the Afghan mujahedeen,” a reference to the Taliban.

Afghan parliamentarian Fawzia Kofi tells VOA that even if the victim had an illicit sexual relationship with a man, the shooting denied her the right to a just court and defense.

Afghan women's rights activists have raised concerns about the status of women once international combat forces withdraw from the war-torn country. There is particular concern about U.S. and Afghan efforts to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.

Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, women were not allowed to work, get an education or leave the house without a male escort.

Latifa Sultani, a coordinator on women's rights at the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights commission, tells VOA that even after more than a decade since the toppling of the Taliban government, Afghanistan has seen increased violence and more extrajudicial killings of women by the militant group.

Separately on Monday, NATO confirmed that the six coalition soldiers who were killed in Sunday's roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan were American. A seventh U.S. soldier was killed in an insurgent attack in the south on Sunday.

The Taliban said it planted the bomb that killed the six U.S. soldiers in Wardak province.

Sunday was a deadly day for Afghan civilians as well, with 14 killed in two roadside bombings in the southern province of Kandahar.

NATO spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz told reporters in Kabul on Monday, “yesterday was a tough day for Afghan civilians, coalition and Afghan forces. A number of people were killed or injured due to a number of roadside bombs and conflicts. I extend my sincere condolences to the loved ones, family members and friends of those who were killed or injured.”

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