A manhunt is underway for the alleged Taliban who executed an Afghan woman in public after she was accused of adultery.
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Monday condemned the public killing that took place in Ghorband district of Parwan province. The killing was caught on video.
"The murder of a woman who has had no voice to raise for her self-defense against the weapon and brutality of a number of criminals is a clear symbol of the cowardice and wickedness of her murderers," Karzai said. "Such a crime is unforgivable in the sacred religion of Islam and the laws of the country."
Karzai is currently visiting Japan but spoke out against the act when he received word of it. He called it a "heinous and unforgivable crime." He also said the people of Afghanistan don't want to see a repeat of such criminal activities in their country, especially not after the Taliban regime has been dismantled.
In the three-minute footage, a woman can be seen sitting on a rocky road while a man, holding a high-powered rifle, stood behind her and shot her multiple times in the head and body amid cheer from male spectators. The video was obtained by Reuters, and not much is known about the woman, who didn't speak to defend herself.
The Agence France-Presse reported that the woman is known as Najiba, a 22 year old whow as married to a member of the Taliban. She was also allegedly romantically involved a Taliban commander.
The Taliban has denied any involvement in the public execution, but officials have pointed the finger at the extremist group. In the meantime, some locals have vowed to avenge the unknown woman's death, according to Reuters.
Still, the execution has left many wondering what will happen to women in Afghanistan when NATO troops leave in 2014. Only a few years ago did women gain the rights to education and voting.
U.S. Army Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said the killing wasn't justice, but "an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty."
"The Taliban's continued brutality toward innocent civilians, particularly women, must be condemned in the strongest terms," Allen said in a statement issued on the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, website. "There has been too much progress made by too many brave Afghans, especially on the part of women, for this kind of criminal behavior to be tolerated."
Allen added that he is in fact encouraged to hear that provincial police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the murder. He added that the ISAF is ready to help Afghan forces track down and hold those responsible accountable.
"I have every confidence justice will be done," Allen said.