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Taliban Gives Public Amputation

April 24, 1998

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ Doctors wearing surgical masks chopped off the hand of a convicted thief Friday in Kabul’s sports stadium while more than 3,000 people watched.

Zabiullah, the young man whose hand was amputated, was convicted of stealing a carpet and a sewing machine from a home.

Taliban soldiers displayed the severed hand. A religious scholar who was not identified said: ``This is very difficult to do ... but it is the order of God and we have to do it because we want an Islamic regime.″

Before the amputation, Taliban soldiers administered 100 lashes to a young woman wearing the head-to-toe covering called the ``burqa.″

Identified only as Lina, the woman was convicted of traveling with a man other than a male relative. The man escaped Taliban soldiers.

Lina was dragged on to the field begging the Taliban soldiers to stop.

Dozens of women wept as they watched the flogging from the stadium’s third tier.

The Taliban has imposed a harsh version of Islamic rule in the 85 percent of Afghanistan it controls, including public amputations, executions and beatings.

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