Taliban cut off thief’s hand

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TALIBAN militants used a butcher’s knife to chop off the hand of a man convicted of theft in a self-appointed court in Pakistan’s northwest, residents and officials said.

Dozens of people reportedly gathered to watch the punishment meted out in the district of Orakzai, part of Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border that Washington has branded the global headquarters of al-Qa’ida.

Abdul Khaliq, 31, had his right hand sliced off at the wrist on Monday after a Taliban court found him guilty of stealing from a shop on December 23, residents said.

Taliban used the public address system of a mosque to invite residents to watch. Khaliq was brought out blindfolded to an intersection, his right hand placed on a wooden block and then chopped off, an intelligence official said.

Residents said he was taken to a local dispensary to have his wound bandaged.

The incident took place in Mamozai town, which lies outside government control, a local administration official in the neighbouring town of Hangu told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Another intelligence official said the Taliban stepped in following a formal complaint from a shopkeeper.

Khaliq, who is a father of two, has since left the village, residents said.

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