Over the weekend, the Taliban hung bodies publicly in congested town squares in a brutal display of power. The move signals a return to the organization’s hardline tactics. “Taliban officials initially brought four bodies to the central square in the western city of Herat, then moved three of them to other parts of the city for public display, said Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the edge of the square” reported the Associated Press.
The Taliban claim the individuals were displayed in such a horrendous manner as an alert to criminals. “Taliban officials announced that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping earlier Saturday and were killed by police, Seddiqi said.”
The Associated Press reports a Taliban-appointed district police chief in Herat, later said Taliban members rescued a father and son who had been abducted by four kidnappers after an exchange of gunfire. He said a Taliban fighter and a civilian were wounded by the kidnappers, and that the kidnappers were killed in the crossfire.
“The aim of this action is to alert all criminals that they are not safe,” a Taliban commander who did not identify himself told the AP in an on-camera interview conducted in the square.
Just last week a founding Taliban member openly told The Associated Press they plan to begin executions and amputations of limbs, just as they had during their previous reign of terror.
Constant inconsistency from the White House on whether it takes a tough or weak stance against the Taliban remains. Specifically referring to executions and limb amputations, the U.S. State Department said such acts “would constitute clear gross abuses of human rights.”
Taliban leader Mullah Nooruddin Turabi told the AP in an interview, “Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments…No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.”