- Five Taliban members; a Haqqani network militant executed
- Taliban may `bomb everywhere' in retaliation: ex-diplomat
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered six insurgents hanged on Sunday, fulfilling a vow to crack down on terrorism while endangering the foundering peace talks being brokered by the U.S., China and Pakistan between the government and Taliban.
Ghani approved the executions after the six were convicted of “grave crimes against civilians and national security," according to an e-mailed statement from his press office.
The death sentences, the first since Ghani took office in 2014, were carried out a month after he pledged to parliament to hang people found guilty of terrorism. Ghani acted amid rising violence, including an attack on an elite office of intelligence agency in Kabul last month that killed 64 and wounded more than 340, one of the deadliest since 2001.
"The executions of Taliban have now evaporated any efforts of peace talks," Ahmad Saeedi, a former Pakistan diplomat, said by telephone. "I am really worried about the Taliban’s retaliation that may bomb everywhere."
The U.S., China and Pakistan have tried to broker talks between the Taliban and Afghan government. A first round last year was halted by the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar. The militant group has since refused to restart negotiations unless all foreign forces leave Afghanistan, the group is removed from a United Nations blacklist and its members are freed from prison.
Five members of Taliban and a member of Haqqani terrorist network were hanged at dawn inside the Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul, according to an e-mailed statement by the National Directorate of Security, the government’s spy agency.
Two of the Taliban helped to assassinate two senior government officials, former chief of the High Peace Council and Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani and former deputy of NDS Abdullah Laghmani, the government said in a statement.