KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says authorities have executed five members of a criminal group behind several kidnappings and murders in the western province of Herat.

The convicts were executed at Pul-e-Charkhi prison in the capital, Kabul.

Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said Wednesday that Askar Anwari, a former member of the provincial council in Herat was among the five who were hanged.

Rahimi says the executions were carried out after three appeals courts and President Ashraf Ghani confirmed the death sentences of the five.

The group had been involved in the kidnapping and murder of a deputy head of a construction company, as well as other illegal activities.

In May 2016, Ghani approved the executions of six suspects convicted on terrorism charges.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.