Taliban militants whipped a man and a woman for marrying without their family’s approval, and for eloping from Afghanistan’s northern Faryab province, an official said on Tuesday.

“The incident happened in the Bandar area of Kohistanat district, an area under the control of Taliban,” provincial police spokesman Karim Yurish told dpa.

The couple had fled to the province of Ghor in western Afghanistan after their marriage was denied by the families, but they were later brought back with the intervention of elders, Yurish said.

“On Monday afternoon, Taliban militants lashed them in a public trial,” the spokesman added.

As the Taliban expand their territory and influence, public trials, or so-called desert courts, by the Islamist insurgent group have become increasingly common in areas under the militants’ control.

According to U.S. and Afghan officials, the Taliban’s control or influence spans around 13 per cent of the country. Other sources speak of a higher percentage.

On February 14, the Taliban stoned a young man to death on charges of adultery in the province of Sar-e-Pul in the country’s north. (dpa/NAN

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