Afghan Villagers Hang Taliban Fighters

Afghan Villagers Hang Taliban FightersAfghan Villagers Hang Taliban Fighters

Afghan villagers hanged four captured Taliban militants from a tree on Saturday as security forces battled the insurgents for a sixth day in a district of Ghazni province, an official said. The hangings were carried out after Taliban fighters had killed more than 100 people in the area in the past week, including more than a dozen who were beheaded, according to Ghazni deputy governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi.

The battle in the Ajrestan district of Ghazni, southwest of the capital Kabul, is part of an escalation of Taliban attacks around the country, Reuters reported.

The assault by an estimated 700 Taliban fighters began about six days ago but Afghan army commando reinforcements has so far prevented the district from falling under Taliban control, said Ahmadi.

Heavy fighting continued on Saturday in Ajrestan, in the far west of the province.

The four captured militants were handed over to residents in Arzakai village, according to Ahmadi. It was unclear who handed the men over to the villagers, or why.

The Taliban insurgents have recently been emboldened by months of political turmoil after a disputed presidential election, which demoralized security forces.

The election crisis ended with a power-sharing deal that will see Ashraf Ghani sworn in as president Monday, with Abdullah Abdullah expected to be named to a position with powers similar to those of a prime minister.