Suspected Taliban insurgents hanged an eight-year-old boy in Afghanistan’s restive Helmand province after the child’s father, a policeman, refused to surrender to them.
The militants took the boy from his home on Friday and threatened his father that the child would be harmed if the police officer did not surrender to them along with his vehicle and his staff.
The local government claimed the Taliban was responsible for the hanging, but the group has denied the allegations, according to the AFP.
Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi dismissed the claims as “propaganda by the puppet Kabul government”.
In a statement issued today, Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the child's death, CNN reports. He said such actions are "not permitted in any culture or any religions".
Last summer, the Taliban reportedly killed a seven-year-old boy it accused of spying.
According to a United Nations report released last month, civilians deaths in Afghanistan have risen by 15 per cent for the first half of this year. The organization said that May was a particularly deadly month for Afghan civilians, with the highest level of deaths since records began in 2007.
Insurgents have warned of escalating attacks against Afghan security forces and those accused of spying or of aiding coalition forces in Afghanistan.