After murdering four kidnappers in a firefight in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat on Saturday, the Taliban hanged their bodies from cranes. Mawlawi Shir Ahmad Muhajir, deputy governor of Herat province, claimed the men’s bodies were exposed in several public locations on the same day as the executions to convey a “lesson” that abduction will not be condoned. Social media photos showed bloodied victims in the back of a pick-up truck while a crane lifted one guy up. A large crowd watched as armed Taliban members gathered around the car.
Another video showed a guy hung from a crane at a prominent roundabout in Herat, holding a banner that said, “Abductors shall be punished like this.” The display, which is taking place in a number of prominent places, is the most visible public punishment since the Taliban took authority last month.
It is a hint that the Islamist hardliners will impose harsh measures similar to their former rule from 1996 to 2001. Muhajir stated that security personnel were alerted on Saturday morning that a businessman and his son had been kidnapped in the city.
Police closed down the routes leading out of town, and the Taliban halted the guys at a checkpoint when “an exchange of fire occurred,” he added. “One of our Mujahideen was hurt as a result of a few minutes of fighting, and all four kidnappers were murdered,” Muhajir stated in an AFP-transcribed statement. Muhajir went on to say that there had been previous kidnappings in the city before to Saturday’s event, and that the Taliban had freed a youngster.