Kabul: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s government has taken the step of executing two men convicted of slaughtering 40 people during a bank robbery in February, the first sentence of its kind to be carried out by the government since the end of the Taliban rule a decade ago.
Both the men were reportedly hanged on Monday morning inside a Kabul prison.
Although the Afghan government has been quite reluctant in carrying out such punishment in a bid to distance itself from the Taliban, known for their ruthless and barbaric dispensation of justice, Karzai eventually signed the men’s execution warrants following the court’s ‘sentenced to death’ verdict, as he was under immense public pressure, the Washington Post reports.
The National Intelligence Police, which announced the hangings in a statement, described the men as “terrorists” who had killed “40 of our innocent countrymen” and injured 78 others during the attack.
They said the assailants had been brought to justice and that “Karzai accepted the decision of the court.”
The brutal massacre had led to a nationwide outrage, and demands for the attackers to be put to death.
One of the executed men, identified as a Pakistani, was captured on security cameras, wearing an Afghan police uniform and systematically shooting customers as they cowered on the floor. Later he admitted his crime at a police news conference, saying he had enjoyed killing them.
The second man who was executed was identified as Matiullah from Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
A third Afghan was given a 20-year prison sentence, a fourth attacker had been shot by security guards, and a fifth had detonated a suicide vest and killed himself.