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Afghan couple stoned for adultery


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KABUL, Afghanistan – Taliban militants in northern Afghanistan stoned a young couple to death for adultery, which a rights group said was the first confirmed use of the punishment here since the hardline Islamist regime was ousted in 2001. This weekend’s stoning appeared to arise from an affair between a married man and a single woman in Kunduz province’s Dasht-e-Archi district.The woman, Sadiqa, was 20 years old and engaged to another man, said the Kunduz provincial police chief, General Abdul Raza Yaqoubi. Her lover, 28-year-old Qayum, left his wife to run away with her, and the two had holed up in a friend’s house five days ago, said district government head, Mohammad Ayub Aqyar.They were discovered by Taliban operatives on Sunday and stoned to death in front a crowd of about 150 men, Aqyar said.First the woman was brought out and stoned, then the man a half an hour later, Aqyar said. He decried the punishment, which he said was ordered by two local Taliban commanders.A spokesman for the provincial government also condemned the act.Amnesty International called the stoning a “heinous crime” that showed the Taliban and other insurgent groups “are growing increasingly brutal in their abuses against Afghans.”A Taliban spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. (AP)

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