Warning: The video is very disturbing
A shot rings out, but the burqa-clad woman sitting on the rocky ground does not respond.
The man pointing a rifle at her from a few feet away lets loose another round, but still there is no reaction.
He fires a third shot, and finally the woman slumps backwards.
But the man fires another shot.
And another. And another.
Nine shots in all.
Around him, dozens of men on a hillside cheer: “God is great!”
Officials in Afghanistan, where the amateur video was filmed, believe the woman was executed because two Taliban commanders had a dispute over her, according to the governor of the province where the killing took place.
Both apparently had some kind of relationship with the woman, said Parwan province governor Abdul Basir Salangi.
“In order to save face,” they accused her of adultery, Salangi said.
Then they “faked a court to decide about the fate of this woman and in one hour, they executed the woman,” he added.
Both Taliban commanders were subsequently killed by a third Taliban commander, Salangi said.
“We went there to investigate and we are still looking for people who were involved in this brutal act,” he said.
It is not clear from the video when it was filmed.
The killing took place in the village of Qimchok, not far north of the capital Kabul.
Lawmaker Fawzia Koofi called it a huge backward step for women’s issues in Afghanistan.
“I think we will have to do something serious about this, we will have to do something as women, but also as human beings,” she said. “She didn’t even say one word to defend herself.”
Koofi wept on Saturday as she watched the video of the execution.
The United States condemned the killing “in the strongest possible terms,” calling it a “cold-blooded murder.”
“The protection of women’s rights is critical around the world, but especially in Afghanistan, where such rights were ignored, attacked and eroded under Taliban rule,” the American embassy said in a statement on Sunday.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan also condemned the execution.
“Let’s be clear, this wasn’t justice, this was murder, and an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty,” ISAF commander Gen. John Allen said in a statement Sunday. “The Taliban’s continued brutality toward innocent civilians, particularly women, must be condemned in the strongest terms. There has been too much progress made by too many brave Afghans, especially on the part of women, for this kind of criminal behavior to be tolerated.”