Taliban hang bodies to 'warn criminals'

The Taliban in Afghanistan have hung the bodies of alleged kidnappers in public, as what they call a warning.

Reports, including ones from local media, say that four men who had tried to kidnap a man and his family in the western city of Herat were killed in a gunfight with Taliban fighters.

The four bodies were brought to a central square and crossroads in the city and hung from a crane on Saturday.

A local Taliban commander said that it was meant to put all criminals on the alert.

When the Taliban were previously in power, they carried out severe punishments, such as public executions and amputating limbs in accordance with an extreme interpretation of the teachings of Islam.

Since taking power in August, the Taliban caretaker government has promised that their rule will consider human rights within the limits of Islamic teachings.

But such actions as the public display of bodies may deepen concerns both inside and outside the country.