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Afghan insurgents hang 8-year-old boy

KABUL (AP) -- Insurgents in southern Afghanistan hanged an 8-year-old boy six days after they abducted him, the Afghan government said Sunday.

The boy's captors had demanded that his father, a police officer, supply them with a police vehicle and he refused, said a statement from President Hamid Karzai's office. The militants hanged the boy Friday in Helmand province's Gereshk district.

``President Karzai both strongly condemns this act and rejects it as a brutal and cowardly crime that is not acceptable in any religion or culture,'' the statement said. It referred to the killers as ``terrorists,'' but did not say if they belonged to the Taliban or another of the insurgent movements fighting foreign forces and their Afghan allies.

Kidnappings have become increasingly common in Afghanistan, both by criminal groups looking for ransoms and insurgents making a political statement. Most abductions are settled out of the public eye, with negotiations and cash payments.

Separately, Afghan officials said NATO forces battling insurgents along an eastern highway accidentally killed three civilians who were caught in the crossfire.

NATO said that local residents presented the bodies of three civilians killed. Spokesman Capt. Justin Brockhoff said it was unclear whose fire had killed them.

The battle broke out after international troops struck a roadside bomb in Wardak province.

The dead included a woman who was a provincial health official. Wardak government spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said Dr. Aqeela Hekmat and two of her family members were killed in their vehicle, and her husband was injured. Aqeela was the head of gynecology and maternal health for neighboring Ghazni province.

Provincial police Chief Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizai also confirmed three deaths and said it was clear that they were killed by NATO fire.

Karzai's office said it was investigating the allegations.

 

<한글 기사>

반군, 8세 경찰관 아들 교수형 만행

아프가니스탄 반군이 남부지역에서 납치한 8살 된 경찰관의 아들을 교수형에 처하는 만행을 저질렀다고 아프간 정부가 24일 밝혔다.

하미드 카르자이 아프간 대통령실은 이날 성명을 통해 반군이 유괴한 남자 어린 이의 아버지에게 경찰 차량을 넘기라고 요구했지만 거절당하자 납치한 지 6일 만인 지난 22일 헬만드주 게레슈크 지구에서 아이의 목을 매달아 살해했다고 발표했다.

성명은 "카르자이 대통령은 이 같은 행위를 강력히 비난하며 어떤 종교와 문화라도 용납할 수 없는 잔인하고 비열한 범죄라고 규탄했다"고 전했다.

또 성명은 범인들을 '테러분자'라고 지칭했으나 이들이 다국적군, 정부군과 전투를 벌여온 탈레반 혹은 다른 무장세력에 속하는지는 구체적으로 언급하지 않았다.

아프간에서는 몸값을 노린 범죄단체와 정치적 목적을 겨냥한 반군에 의한 인신 납치가 증가하는 추세다.

대부분의 납치사건은 세간의 이목에서 벗어난 상황에서 협상이나 몸값 지불을 통해 해결되고 있다.

한편 아프간 정부관리들은 이날 북대서양조약기구(나토)군이 동부의 고속도로 주변에서 반군과 교전 중 현장에 들어온 민간인 3명을 오인 사살했다고 주장했다.

하지만 나토군 대변인 저스틴 브록호프 대위는 현지 주민이 3구의 민간인 시신을 가져왔다면서 이들이 어느 쪽의 총격을 받아 숨졌는지는 확실하지 않다고 말했다 . (연합뉴스)

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