Taliban won’t rule out stonings and public executions in return of Sharia law

A Taliban spokesman refused to dismiss a return to barbaric punishments such as stonings, amputations and public executions as Afghanistan is on the brink of collapse

Taliban enter outskirts of capital Kabul, say Afghan officials

The Taliban has refused to rule out using barbaric punishments and vowed a return to Sharia law as Afghanistan’s Western-backed government teeters on the edge.

A spokesman for the terror group didn’t dismiss the possibility that brutal practices such as stonings, amputations of hands and feet and public executions could be used again.

“I can’t say right now, that’s up to the judges in the courts and the laws,” the spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, told the BBC as insurgents from the Islamist group advanced into Kabul on Sunday.

He added: “The judges will be appointed according to the law of the future government.”

The Taliban refused to rule out a return to public executions



With the country on the brink of collapse, Shaheen confirmed Afghanistan would return to Sharia law, adding: “Of course, we want Islamic government.”

He also said the groups “policy” is that women and girls will continue to have access to education and work.

However, that is not what reports suggest is happening on the ground amid the Taliban’s lightning advance following the withdrawal of US-led forces last month.

A government minister said power would be handed over to an interim administration.

A group of schoolgirls walk along a street in Kabul as Taliban insurgents entered the city on Sunday


AFP via Getty Images)

Britain is sending 600 troops – including Paras from 16 Air Assault Brigade – on a mission to support the final departure of the remaining UK nationals as well as Afghans who worked with the UK in the country.

The lead elements of the British force were understood to be in Kabul amid fears it could fall within days or hours.

In a sign of the speed of the collapse, arrangements were reportedly being made to fly the British ambassador Sir Laurie Bristow out of the country.

Boris Johnson is poised to recall Parliament to discuss the crisis.

The United States evacuated diplomats from its embassy by helicopter 20 years after US-led forces ousted the Taliban from power following the September 2001 terror attacks.

A senior Afghan interior ministry official told Reuters the Taliban were coming “from all sides” into the capital but gave no further details. There were no reports of fighting.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that the group was in talks with the government for a peaceful surrender of Kabul.

“Taliban fighters are to be on standby on all entrances of Kabul until a peaceful and satisfactory transfer of power is agreed,” the statement said.

A Taliban fighter holds a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) along the roadside in Herat, Afghanistan’s third biggest city


AFP via Getty Images)

Power would be handed over to a transitional administration, the government’s acting interior minister, Abdul Sattar Mirzakawal, said in a tweet on the Tolo news channel.

“There won’t be an attack on the city, it is agreed that there will be a peaceful handover,” he said without elaborating.

The head of the Taliban’s political bureau, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is heading to Kabul from Doha, a Taliban source in the Qatari capital said.

A tweet from the Afghan presidential palace account said firing had been heard at a number of points around Kabul but that security forces, in coordination with international partners, had control of the city.

The United States evacuated diplomats from its embassy by helicopter


AFP via Getty Images)

Many of Kabul’s streets were choked by cars and people either trying to rush home or reach the airport, residents said.

“Some people have left their keys in the car and have started walking to the airport,” one resident told Reuters by phone.

Another said: “People are all going home in fear of fighting.”

Afghans have fled the provinces to enter Kabul in recent days, fearing a return to hardline Islamist rule

Earlier on Sunday, the insurgents captured the eastern city of Jalalabad without a fight, giving them control of one of the main highways into landlocked Afghanistan.

They also took over the nearby Torkham border post with Pakistan, leaving Kabul airport the only way out of Afghanistan still in government hands.

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