A group of radical Islamists in northern Mali reportedly stoned an unmarried couple to death for adultery last Sunday.
CNN reports that nearly 200 local residents watched quietly as the couple was dragged to the center of the town, buried up to their necks, and pelted by rocks until they died.
“I don’t know how many rocks they threw or for how long it went on before they were both dead,” said Haman Maiga, a resident of the remote town of Aguelhok who witnessed the stoning. “No one dared to try and stop the Islamists.”
“It was horrible,” another witness of the stoning said. “It was inhuman. They killed them like they were animals.”
An official told CNN the couple had 2 children, a boy and girl, but another official said the children weren’t even theirs, but that the men who executed them believed they were guilty of a “serious” crime,” as Sharia law condemns relationships outside marriage.
“The man and the woman, who were both married (to other people), were having an affair,” said Aliou Toure, the Islamist commissioner in Gao. “They were stoned to death, the punishment for infidelity, according to Sharia, Islamic law.”
The stoning Sunday is the first reported Sharia killing since al Qaeda-linked Islamists took control of the northern half of Mali in early April.
The Herald Sun points out that Mali is not the only African nation currently beset by aggression from Islamic extremists.
In recent months, Nigeria has also seen much bloodshed at the hands of radical Islamist group Boko Haram, who mainly bomb and target Christian churches, schools and government buildings.