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Execution of Afghan woman occurred under Western noses

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via Reuters TV/Reuters

(Read caption) Men in the crowd watch as a man, who Afghan officials say is a member of the Taliban, fires his rifle at a woman accused of adultery during her execution in a village outside Kabul in this still image taken from undated footage released July 7.

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Part of what is so shocking about the public execution of an Afghan woman for alleged adultery is where it took place.

The close-up shooting took place in Parwan Province before a crowd of 150 onlookers who cheered the killers as “mujahideen” as the woman was shot nine times. The Afghan government says the incident, captured on video, was the work of the Taliban; a Taliban spokesman denies this.

Parwan Province lies just north of the capital Kabul and houses Bagram Air Field, a massive US base. This incident took place directly under the noses of the Afghan government and the international community.

Since the Taliban’s ouster in 2001, the province has always been the most obvious place for foreigners looking to work or relax outside Kabul. It’s one of the safest places in the country, with the large security footprint, good connectivity to the capital, and the mostly-Tajik ethnic makeup.

I have made the journey a half dozen times since 2005. There’s a lovely ice cream shop off one of the rotaries, and a decent restaurant serving fish and kebabs overlooking the Panjshir River.

The province has received a lot of development assistance, both by nongovernmental organizations based out of nearby Kabul and from the military Provincial Reconstruction Team operating out of Bagram.

A local elder in Parwan once told me how the foreigners had now built three girls’ schools within a mile of each other. Girls schools are a popular project for foreigners, and Parwan is a popular place to put them, given the relative security, but there weren’t enough girls in the area to fill three, the elder claimed. Instead, the security guard at one of the schools did nothing but protect the squirrels and birds who nested in the empty building.

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