Taliban authorities in the western Afghan city of Herat killed four suspected kidnappers and hung their bodies in public to deter others, a local government official said on Saturday.
Sher Ahmad Ammar, Herat’s deputy governor said the men had kidnapped a local businessman and his son and intended to take them out of the city, when they were spotted by patrols that had set up checkpoints around the city. An exchange of gunfire ensued in which all four were killed and a Taliban soldier was wounded.
“Their bodies were taken to the main square and hung in the city as a lesson for other kidnappers,” he said. The two victims of the kidnapping were released unharmed, said the source.
Mohammad Nazir, a resident of Herat, explained that he had been shopping for food when he heard an advertisement on a loudspeaker drawing people’s attention.
“When I stepped forward, I saw that they had brought a body in a truck, then hung it on a crane,” he said.
Images of the bloodstained corpse, swinging on the crane, were widely shared on social media, showing a note pinned to the man’s chest that read: “This is the punishment for kidnapping”.
No other bodies were seen, but social media posts said others were hung in other parts of the city.
In an interview with Ap published this week, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, a senior Taliban figure, said the group would reinstate punishments such as 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 such as robbery, murder and kidnapping that are widespread in Afghanistan.