Page last updated at 17:53 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 18:53 UK

Taleban 'stoned couple to death'

Pakistani soldier in tribal area (File photo 11/4/07)
The authorities have little control in the tribal areas of NW Pakistan

A couple accused of adultery are reported to have been stoned to death in northern Pakistan by the Taleban.

The pair ran away together but after being hunted down they were brought before a Taleban court in the Mohmand tribal district.

A Taleban spokesman said the couple had confessed and were then sentenced to be put to death by stoning.

Although local officials say the pair were actually shot dead, people in the area confirm the Taleban account.

The execution was carried out in one of the tribal districts close to the Afghan border.

The BBC's Alan Johnston says government control is minimal in the area, and the Taleban are often able to operate very freely.

Tip off

The family of the woman, who was married, had reported to the local Taleban that she had run off with a man from a nearby district.

The Taleban received a tip off that the couple would be travelling on a certain bus - they stopped the vehicle and abducted the couple.

A Taleban spokesman said the couple confessed to adultery before a Taleban court, and were stoned to death that night.

The Taleban have killed people in this way in Afghanistan in the past, but this is believed to be only the second time that they have done so in Pakistan.

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