Afghan President Hamid Karzai called the killing “disgusting and unforgivable” and ordered security forces to spare no effort in arresting and punishing those responsible. The commander of NATO’s troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, offered to help local security forces track and capture the men involved in what he called “an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty”.
The brutal shooting of the lone woman before a cheering mob of men is shown in graphic detail in a video of the event in a village in Parwan province some 100 kilometres north of the capital Kabul.
“We have sent a police force to the area,” said Parwan provincial governor Basir Salangi. Roshna Khalid, Salangi’s said the 22-year-old woman, named as Najiba, was married to a member of the hardline Islamist Taliban and was accused of adultery with a Taliban commander.
“Within one hour they decided that she was guilty and sentenced her to death. They shot her in front of villagers in her village, Qol,” she said. The video also drew international condemnation with British Foreign Secretary William Hague saying he was “shocked and disgusted” by the execution.
The video opens with the woman, wrapped in a grey shawl, sitting at the edge of a ditch in a village surrounded by dozens of men, some perched on rooftops for a better view. As she sits with her back to the crowd a bearded man is seen reading verses from the Koran condemning adultery, before saying, “We cannot forgive her, God tells us to finish her.”