“The crowd erupted in cheers of “God is great!” and gunmen fired in the air in jubilation.”
“Thousands Cheer as Pakistani Militants Decapitate, Shoot Afghans Accused of Spying for U.S., ” from the Associated Press, May 27:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan “” A gang of Pakistani militants executed two alleged U.S. spies in front of thousands of cheering supporters Friday as a top U.N. official expressed fears that Pakistani government peace deals with the gunmen were sparking a wave of human rights abuses.
At least 5,000 people gathered by a stream in the Bajur region to watch the executions, which highlighted the power of local Taliban forces in the lawless tribal areas near the Afghan border.
Masked militants pulled the two blindfolded Afghans from a car and forced them to kneel on the ground.
Waliur Rehman, a local Taliban commander, told the crowd that the two men confessed to aiding in a suspected U.S. missile strike on a house in the border town of Damadola that killed 14 people last month. The men disclosed the names of others involved, and they would be killed as well, he said.
“Whoever, for the sake of money, for the sake of America, harms the interest of the Islamic world will meet the same fate,” he said.
Gunmen with daggers then pounced on one of the men “” identified as Jan Wali, 36 “” decapitated him and waved his bloody head to the cheering crowd.
The militants then argued over how to kill the other man because he may have been a teenager, before one lost patience and shot him with an assault rifle.
The crowd erupted in cheers of “God is great!” and gunmen fired in the air in jubilation. The celebratory gunfire killed two bystanders and wounded six, local official Fazal Rabbi said.
The recently elected Pakistani government has supported negotiations that would give local tribes and militants broad authority over some tribal areas. The U.S. says those deals will only give Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in the border region more freedom to attack Afghanistan.
A deal has not yet been reached over Bajur, but the militants are clearly able to operate freely in the area.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said Friday she was concerned that the peace deals undermined state authority and left residents vulnerable to a range of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings.