Seventeen people including two women have been beheaded in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan for taking part in a music festival.
The slaughter took place yesterday in a village in the Musa Qala district of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan - an area said to be completely under the control of insurgents.According to a local tribal chief the people had gathered for a celebration and were playing music and dancing and the insurgents wanted to stop the event.
Helmand provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi said all of the civilians victims had their heads chopped off. He says it was not clear if they were shot first.
He said: 'Last night 17 local villagers, two women and 15 men, were beheaded by unknown people in Kajaki district.
'We don't know who was behind the killings at this time. We're investigating.'
A senior police official in the province, Mohammad Ismael Hotak, confirmed the incident, giving a similar account.
Taliban insurgents are active in the troubled region and they have in the past been blamed for beheading local villagers, mostly over charges of spying for Afghan and US-led Nato forces.