Taliban Stones Young Couple to Death in Afghanistan

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai talks during a meeting with elders in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
From and

For the first time in nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan, the Taliban has executed a young couple by stoning for having a relationship out of wedlock.

Carried out on Sunday by townspeople and even family members of the couple who tricked them into returning after trying to elope, the execution was the latest in a string of harsh punishments by the former regime, which include lashing and amputation. Already some in the country are calling the execution appropriate. Just a week ago a group of 350 religious scholars meeting with government officials called for more punishment under Sharia law.

Are we seeing a resurgence of the Taliban’s extreme punishment, in a long and painful war that was meant to eradicate it? What does the recent violence say about our efforts, and about the Taliban in Afghanistan?

We’re joined now by John F. Burns, London bureau chief for The New York Times, who won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on Afghanistan’s Taliban regime in the 1990s.