Mob lynches Afghan couple for eloping, in ‘honor killing’

The 18-year-old woman had been forced to marry a man against her wishes

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An angry mob lynched a young Afghan couple who had eloped together after storming a police station where they were being held for “immoral acts”, officials said Sunday, the latest so-called honor killing in the country.

Fateha, an 18-year-old woman who had been forced to marry a man against her wishes, was arrested Saturday along with her lover Hedayatullah, 19, in the Wama district of the remote eastern province of Nuristan.

“The woman’s family believed she had damaged their honor. Together with armed villagers they attacked the police station, took the girl and boy outside and shot them in front of the public,” provincial governor Hafiz Abdul Qayyom told AFP.

Abdul Ghafoor Nuristani, a provincial official, accused the police of failing to protect the couple.
But Qayyom said three policemen were wounded in the incident, into which the government had launched an investigation.

So-called “honor killings” are not uncommon in conservative Afghanistan and relations between men and women outside marriage are strictly controlled under local and Islamic practices, with violations often punishable by death.

More than 15 years after the end of the Taliban regime, Afghanistan is rife with abuse against women, most often perpetrated by families and relatives who are rarely arrested.

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