Taliban kill couple who tried to elope

The Associated PressApril 15, 2009 

— Taliban gunmen used a firing squad to kill a young couple in southern Afghanistan for trying to elope, shooting them with rifles in front of a crowd in a lawless, militant-controlled region, officials said Tuesday.

The woman, Gul Pecha, 19, and the man, Abdul Aziz, 21, 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 fled their homes and hoped to travel to Iran, but their parents sent villagers to bring them home, said Sadiq Chakhansori, the chief of Nimroz' provincial council. Once back home, the pair was either turned over to the Taliban by their parents or the militants came and took them by force, officials said, providing slightly varying accounts.

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