The Taliban have hanged a dead body from a crane in the main square of Herat City in western Afghanistan, a witness says, in a gruesome display that signalled a return to some of the Taliban’s methods of the past.
Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the side of the square, told the Associated Press on Saturday that four bodies were brought to the square, three of which were moved to other squares in the city to be displayed.
Seddiqi said the Taliban announced in the square that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping and were killed by police.
It was not immediately clear if the four were killed in a firefight with police or after their arrest.
There was no immediate comment from the Taliban.
Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan, told AP this week the hard line movement will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public.
Since the Taliban overran Kabul on August 15 and seized control of the country, Afghans and the world have been watching to see whether they will re-create their harsh rule of the late 1990s.
The group’s leaders remain entrenched in a deeply conservative, hardline worldview, even if they are embracing technological changes such as video and mobile phones.