Taliban kill four 'kidnappers' in Afghan city

WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP

Taliban authorities in the western Afghan city of Herat have killed four "kidnappers" and hung their bodies up in public to deter others.

Sher Ahmad Ammar, deputy governor of Herat, said the men had allegedly 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.

The two kidnapping victims were released unharmed, he said.

In an interview with the Associated Press published this week, senior Taliban figure Mullah Nooruddin Turabi said the group would restore punishments like amputations and executions to deter criminals.

Despite international condemnation, the Taliban have said they will 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 Turabi's reported comments on punishments, has said any potential recognition of the Taliban-led government in Kabul, which replaced the Western-backed government that collapsed last month, would depend on respect for human rights.

According to the official Bakhtar news agency, eight kidnappers were also arrested in a separate incident in the southwestern province of Uruzgan.

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