A couple who had sex outside marriage has been stoned to death by Islamists in the town of Aguelhok in northern Mali, according to reports. The man and woman were buried up to their necks, then pelted with stones until they died.
The northern half of Mali has been overrun by rebels-- Tuareg and Islamist-- following a coup in Mali's capital. The town of Aguelhok was one of the first to be captured by Tuareg separatist rebels. The execution came as interim President Dioncounda Traore finalized a unity government which is under pressure by foreign partners to take decisive action against the jihadists who have cleaved the nation in two. As politicians grappled for solutions in Bamako and west African capitals, the Al-Qaeda linked Islamists grew bolder, executing the couple in the center of town. In Timbuktu, Islamists have also implemented strict Islamic law and destroyed ancient World Heritage sites which they consider idolatrous.
The Islamists in Aguelhok stoned the couple to death in front of about 200 people, officials said. "I was there. The Islamists took the unmarried couple to the center of Aguelhok. The couple was placed in two holes and the Islamists stoned them to death," a local government official told the AFP news agency. "The woman fainted after the first few blows," he said, adding that the man had shouted out once and then fallen silent.