A group of armed men have stoned and shot dead a woman and her daughter in the Afghan province of Ghazni, security officials said on Friday 11/11/2011.

The officials blamed the Taliban, who they said had accused the women of “moral deviation and adultery”. The police said two men had been arrested in connection with the murder (see – MUSLIM GIRLS RIGHTS).

The attack was only 300m from the governor’s office in Ghazni city, which is on a list of places to be transferred to Afghan security control.

The incident happened, on Thursday 11/10/2011, in the Khawaja Hakim area of Ghazni city, where the family lived close to the governor’s office, the police chief’s office and a Western-backed Provincial Reconstruction Team (see also – Gahzni 04.28.08 ).

Security officials said armed men entered the house where the young widow lived with her daughter and took them out to the yard, where they were initially stoned and then shot dead.

“Neighbors did not help or inform the authorities on time,” an official said. Officials said a number of religious leaders in the city had been issuing fatwas (Islamic religious edicts) asking people to report any one who was “involved in adultery”.

In October last year, a woman accused of murdering her mother-in-law was killed by the Taliban in Ghazni. Ghazni has seen an upsurge in violence in recent years (see also – Women-rights).

Strategically located on the route between Kabul and Kandahar, the province was once a centre of trade. Ghazni city is on the list for the second tranche of areas to be transferred from NATO-ISAF to Afghan control but critics say the government is struggling to secure it.

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