Taliban use swords to slit the throats of Afghan ‘traitors’ in public executions before thousands

In a shocking display of hardline violence, Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan publicly slit the throats of two Afghans today after they were accused of spying for US forces suspected of launching a missile strike in May.

The two men, one of them a former Taliban fighter, were brought blindfolded before a crowd of several thousand people near the village of Damadola in the Bajaur region on the Afghan border before they were executed.

Pakistani Taliban get ready to execute the two Afghans - one a former Taliban fighter - accused of spying for the US

‘Spies’: Pakistani Taliban get ready to execute the two Afghans – one a former Taliban fighter – accused of spying for the US

“They were spies. Whoever spies for the Americans will meet the same fate,” Qari Zia-ur-Rehman, a Taliban leader in the area, told the crowd before another man slit the throats of the two with a sword.

The crowd shouted: “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) when the Taliban held up the severed heads of the victims who Rehman said were from the eastern Afghan province of Kunar.

Bajaur is one of Pakistan’s seven border regions dominated by ethnic Pashtun tribes and a hotbed of support for the Taliban and al Qaeda.

The two condemned men are surrounded by armed militants - one steadily filming the event on a video camera

The two condemned men are surrounded by armed militants – one steadily filming the event on a video camera

After the killings, shooting broke out in the crowd but it was not clear why. Two people were killed and seven wounded.

Rehman said the two Afghans had spied for U.S. forces who the militants believed were responsible for a missile strike on a house in Damadola in May in which 18 people, including foreign militants, were killed.

Two missiles were apparently fired by U.S. drones and a government official said at the time the strike had apparently targeted a mid-level, Arab al Qaeda member, who had been killed.

Islamist militants have killed scores of people in the tribal belt on the Afghan border on suspicion of spying for U.S. forces in Afghanistan but public executions have been rare.

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Suicide Bomber Kills Soldiers and Child (Afghanistan)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up as an Afghan army convoy slowed to pass a pothole-riddled section of road Friday in eastern Afghanistan, killing four soldiers and a child, a defense official said.

Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack, about eight miles west of Khost city, said Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi.

Suicide bombers frequently target military convoys, but civilian passers-by are often killed in such attacks.

Insurgency related violence has killed more than 1,200 people — mostly militants — so far this year, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Western and Afghan officials.

In eastern Kunar province, meanwhile, deputy police chief Abdul Sabor Allayer said a rocket hit a schoolyard on Wednesday in Asmor district, killing one student and wounding four others. The victims were between eight and 14 years old.

Afghanistan’s Education Minister said earlier this year that the number of students and teachers killed in Taliban attacks spiked in the past year in a campaign to close schools and force teenage boys to join the Islamic militia. UNICEF says 236 school-related attacks occurred last year.