KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The Taliban hanged a dead body from a crane in the main square of Herat in western Afghanistan, a witness said Saturday, in a gruesome display that signaled a return to the Taliban’s brutal ways.
Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the side of the square, told The Associated Press that four bodies were brought to the main square and three bodies were moved to other parts of the city for public display.
Seddiqi said the Taliban announced in the square that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping and were killed by police.
Ziaulhaq Jalali, a Taliban-appointed district police chief in Herat, said later that Taliban members rescued a father and son who had been abducted by kidnappers after an exchange of gunfire. He said a Taliban fighter and a civilian were wounded by the kidnappers but “the four were killed in crossfire.”
Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan, told the AP this week that 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 Aug. 15 and seized control of the country, Afghans and people around 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, hard-line worldview, even if they are embracing technological changes, like video and mobile phones.
Also on Saturday, a Taliban official said a roadside bomb hit a Taliban car in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province wounding at least one person.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. The Islamic State group affiliate, which is headquartered in eastern Afghanistan, has said it was behind similar attacks in Jalalabad last week that killed 12 people.
Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Hanif said the person wounded in the attack is a municipal worker.