The Taliban beheaded two boys, one 10-year-old and one 16-year-old, after the Taliban charged them with spying. The boys were rummaging among rubbish bins near police headquarters in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second city, a vital base for Western forces. Grabbed by the Taliban, they were accused of trading the food for information. After they were interrogated by the Taliban, their heads were cut off. The bodies were found in Kandahar’s Zhari district.
Western officials said the boys were trying to find food that Western forces had thrown out. They said the ten-year-old was extremely poor and was known to rummage for food to feed his family. It is believed that the executions were a warning to other children not to co-operate with the Coalition forces, but reaction was swift from the public; thousands of people vented their outrage on Twitter.
Jamal Agha, the chief of Zhari district, said: “The boys were on their way back when they were stopped by Taliban insurgents who beheaded them. Both of them were innocent children and had nothing to do with government or foreigners.”
Dr Toryalay Wessa, Kandahar’s governor, ordered security forces and police to find the Taliban responsible for the killing “with whatever casualties it takes and at whatever price.”
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmad denied the allegations. He said there were no beheadings. But last July, in the same area as the newest beheadings, a 16-year-old boy who was also accused by the Taliban of spying was beheaded and skinned. In August, a seven-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy were kidnapped and beheaded.