Afghan police arrest nine after woman killed over `Koran burning`

Afghan police have arrested nine suspects after a mob beat a woman to death for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran and then set her body ablaze, officials said on Friday.

AFP| Updated: Mar 20, 2015, 23:21 PM IST

Kabul: Afghan police have arrested nine suspects after a mob beat a woman to death for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran and then set her body ablaze, officials said on Friday.

General Farid Afzali, the head of the police criminal investigation department, told AFP the woman, whose body was dumped in the Kabul river, had been undergoing psychiatric treatment for the past four years.

Acts of desecration towards the Islamic holy book are taken extremely seriously in Afghanistan, a deeply conservative, religious society.

In 2012, the revelation that copies of the Koran had been burnt at the US-run Bagram prison sparked five days of violent anti-US riots and attacks across the country, which killed 30 people.

President Ashraf Ghani has ordered an investigation into the incident, condemning the "act of extreme violence", in a statement released by his office.

"No individual is allowed to make oneself a judge and use violence to punish others in degrading manners," the statement said.

"Launching personal trials and choosing who to punish stands in clear contradiction to Sharia and Islamic justice."

Afzali said police had taken nine suspects into custody.

Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi confirmed the arrests and said they were seriously investigating the incident.

The statement from Ghani`s office also condemned "in strong terms any action that causes disrespect to the Holy Quran and Islamic values".

Violence against women is endemic in Afghanistan but mob assaults on women in Kabul are very rare.

Graphic photos of the incident showing the victim looking bloody and battered have been circulating on social media.