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World Briefing / Afghanistan

Couple killed for trying to elope

April 15, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

A Taliban firing squad killed a young couple in southwestern Afghanistan for trying to elope, shooting them with AK-47s in front of a crowd, officials said.

The woman, 19-year-old Gul Pecha, and the man, 21-year-old Abdul Aziz, were accused by the militants of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed, officials said.

The two had hoped to travel to Iran, which borders their home province of Nimruz, but their parents sent villagers to bring them home, said Sadiq Chakhansori, the chief of the provincial council. Once back home, they were either turned over to the Taliban by their parents or taken by the militants by force, the officials said, providing slightly varying accounts.

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