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Afghan woman beaten to death and set on fire for allegedly burning Koran

The 27-year-old’s family deny she was involved.

In a rare show of protest in the country, supporters flocked to pay tribute to the dead woman.
In a rare show of protest in the country, supporters flocked to pay tribute to the dead woman.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE have attended the burial of an Afghan woman who was beaten to death and set on fire by a mob for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran.

Authorities announced the suspension of 13 police officers as well as multiple arrests over the lynching, which took place in full view of several policemen and sparked widespread condemnation at home and abroad.

The body of Farkhunda, 27, who was lynched on Thursday by an angry crowd in central Kabul, was carried to the graveyard by women amid crowds of men, a rare act of protest in a male-dominated society.

The crowd, shouting “Allah o Akbar” (God is greatest), demanded the government bring the killers to justice.

“This is a crime against this family, a crime against a sister and a crime against humanity,” said Bari Salam, a human rights activist.

“All those involved and all those who supported her killing should be brought to justice,” he said.

The United Nations said Farkhunda, who was known by only one name, had “suffered mental illness for many years”.

But her father told the media his daughter had a diploma in Islamic studies and could recite the Koran by heart. He insisted she was not involved in burning the Muslim holy book.

Afghanistan Activists carry the coffin of the murdered woman. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Farkhunda’s brother Najeebullah Malikzada supported his father’s claim.

“Farkhunda was a deeply religious girl. She used to recite the holy Koran and pray five times a day,” he told the crowd.

Footage of the attack on social media shows a number of uniformed police watching the crowd as they beat her to death, burn her body and then dump it into a river.

 President Ashraf Ghani condemned the killing as “heinous” and ordered a commission to investigate the incident.

He said police, who play a crucial part in the war against Taliban insurgents, were not well-trained to contain such incidents.

“Almost 90%t of the duties of the police today are focused on fighting, which is not their constitutional role, it is not their legal role,” Ghani told reporters on Saturday.

© – AFP

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