KABUL, Afghanistan, July 9 (UPI) -- Afghan authorities sought the arrest of those involved in the public execution of a woman that was caught on amateur video, officials said.
The video shows the woman, accused of adultery, being shot at several times at close range by a man as she sat on the ground. The incident is believed to have taken place last month in a village in Parwan province near Kabul, and has raised outrage around the world, drawing strong condemnation and raising concerns about woman's rights in Afghanistan as U.S. and NATO officials plan completion of their troop withdrawal from that country by 2014.
President Hamid Karzai Monday ordered security officials to arrest those who participated in the execution, CNN reported. The report said the video showed the burqa-clad woman being shot nine times as a crowd of people cheered.
Karzai said such crimes are "unforgivable both in Islam and under our country's laws." The U.S. Embassy has called the killing a "cold blooded murder."
Afghan officials have blamed the Taliban -- whose violence has escalated in the country in recent months to coincide with the troop withdrawal -- for the execution.
Parwan province Gov. Abdul Basir Salangi was quoted as saying the woman was executed following a dispute over her between two Taliban commanders who, to save face, had accused her of adultery. Salangi told CNN the two "faked a court to decide about the fate of this woman" and executed her within an hour.
A third Taliban commander subsequently killed the two men, Salangi said.
U.S. Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, in a statement from NATO's International Security Assistance Force, praised Afghan authorities' investigation of the incident and offered assistance of NATO troops to track down those responsible for the killing.
The Christian Science Monitor said Parwan province, where NATO's Bagram Air Field, is located, has always been thought of as a safe place due to the presence of NATO forces.
Reports of the execution come as the International Afghan Donors Conference, meeting in Tokyo Sunday, pledged about $16 billion in international assistance for the next four years. Improvement of rights of Afghan women is one of the conditions for the aid.
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