Afghanistan hanged six prisoners convicted of terrorism offences, as part of a tougher new policy towards the Taliban promised by President Ashraf Ghani in retaliation for last month’s suicide attack which killed at least 64 people in Kabul.
The death sentences, carried out at the Pule Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul on Sunday, drew an immediate response from the Taliban which said the departments of state involved in the executions would be treated as “military targets” and threatened a wave of suicide attacks.
“To gain revenge on the enemy, we have thousands of fighters ready to sacrifice themselves,” a statement from the movement’s main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
With fiercer fighting expected in the coming weeks following the conclusion of the annual opium harvest, the decision to execute the prisoners further dims hopes of reviving the stalled peace process backed by foreign partners including the United States and China.
A statement from Ghani’s office said the executions had been carried out after a fair and transparent legal process and in accordance with both the constitution and Islamic law.
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