Taliban hang body in public, signaling return to past tactics

A dead body hangs from a crane in the main square of Herat city in western Afghanistan, on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. A witness told The Associated Press that the bodies of four men were brought to the main square and three of them were moved to other parts of the city for public display. The Taliban announced in the square that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping and were killed by police. (AP Photo)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The Taliban hanged a dead body from a crane parked in a city square in Afghanistan on Saturday in a gruesome display that signaled the hard-line movement's return to some of its brutal tactics of the past.

Taliban officials initially brought four bodies to the central square in the western city of Herat, then moved three of them to other parts of the city for public display, said Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the edge of the square.

Taliban officials announced that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping earlier Saturday and were killed by police, Seddiqi said. Ziaulhaq Jalali, a Taliban-appointed district police chief in Herat, said later that Taliban members rescued a father and son who had been abducted by four kidnappers after an exchange of gunfire.