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Kabul lynch killing prompts death sentences

Four men have been sentenced to death in Kabul for their roles in the mob killing of a woman falsely accused of burning a Koran in March. The judge imposed lengthy prison terms on eight other defendants.

Afghan Primary Court judge Safiullah Mujadidi jailed eight other defendants for terms of 16 years on Wednesday, while dropping charges against 18 other accused.

He sentenced the four main accused to death by hanging.

The daylight murder of the 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, near a shrine in central Kabul on March 19, sparked outrage against religious extremism in conservative Afghanistan.

Her killing triggered rare protests inside Afghanistan and in several foreign cities, drawing global attention to the treatment of Afghan women.

Bragging in social media

Suspects were tracked down after bragging on social media. Farkhunda's body was set on fire on the banks of Kabul River as several police officers looked on.

An investigation later determined that she was

falsely accused

of desecrating Islam's holy book. Police defendants were accused of failing to stop the frenzied attack.

In total 49 defendants faced various charges including murder and encouraging others to take part during the three-day trial.

Verdicts on policemen accused of "negligence of duty" are to be announced next Sunday.

ipj/kms (AP, Reuters)

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