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6 Afghans Punished for Shaving off Beards


Unidentified gunmen in eastern Afghanistan ambushed six men and cut off their noses and ears because they had shaved off their beards.

An Afghan news agency says the men were attacked Monday on the highway between the capital, Kabul, and the eastern city of Jalalabad.

The attackers reportedly stopped and searched a passenger bus, ordering all men off the bus about 90 kilometers from Kabul.

The noses and ears of six Afghan passengers were cut off to punish them for shaving their beards. The news agency says the victims are being treated in a local hospital.

Last month, four journalists were killed when unknown gunmen ambushed their convoy in the same area. In the past two days, several vehicles were looted and drivers are quoted as saying they had seen seven bodies lying along the roadside nearby.

Afghanistan's formerly ruling Taleban movement had forced all Afghan men to grow long, untrimmed beards. The radical Islamic movement has lost control of most of the country in the past month under punishing U.S. led air strikes.

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