Thousands watch as Afghans' throats slit for murder

KABUL, March 27,1998 (Reuters) - Two Afghans convicted of murder had their throats cut by their victims' relatives on Friday before about 30,000 spectators in Kabul's sports stadium.

The convicts, their legs shackled and hands tied behind their backs, were made to kneel on the grass. Their throats were then cut with knives after the murder victims' families refused a Taliban appeal to forgive the convicted killers.

The convicts -- Sulaiman, in his late 20s, and Mehrajuddin, about 40 -- had been driven to the stadium in a car with tinted glass.

``This is not a place for picnic. It is for others to repent it murder, theft or adultery, and to protect the honour of our countrymen,'' said a Taliban speaker wearing a white turban.

Spectators, including women and children, shouted and yelled as blood poured from Sulaiman's throat after it was cut by Saleh Mohammad, whose son and employer had been murdered.

A few metres (yards) away, another man, Aziz, did the same to the other convict, Mehrajuddin, to avenge the murder of his father.

Under Islamic law, a murderer should be executed by the victim's family members or be acquitted.

Two weeks ago, one man was shot from behind in Kabul on the charge of murder while many people have been given Islamic punishments also for crimes such as adultery, theft and murder.

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