Afghanistan mother and daughter stoned and shot dead

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A group of armed men have stoned and shot dead a woman and her daughter in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, security officials have told the BBC.

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.

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.

Taliban grip

The incident happened on Thursday in the Khawaja Hakim area of Ghazni city, where the family lived.

The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul says it is close to the governor's office, the police chief's office and a Western-backed Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Analysis

There are 18 districts in Ghazni. Seven are in government control. In 11 the government only exists inside the district headquarters.

In much of the region, the Taliban are taxing people and banning girls from schools. Joint weddings have been banned - the bride and groom are not allowed to be together as it is thought the woman makes too much noise walking to the wedding hall, disturbing the men.

The Taliban are killing and imprisoning people who work for the government. They control all of the major roads. Drivers are regularly beaten. There are instances where district officials have been beheaded. The Taliban have banned mobile phones, video cameras and music apart from Taliban radio stations playing hypnotic chants.

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.

"Neighbours 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.

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 to Afghan control but critics say the government is struggling to secure it.

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