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Taliban, Al-Qaeda Militants Among Four Afghans Hanged

KABUL (Reuters) -- Afghanistan has executed four men, including three linked to deadly attacks by Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgents, a state newspaper has said.

The four men were hanged inside a prison in Kabul on November 11, bringing to nine the number of people executed in Afghanistan in the past week since President Hamid Karzai signed orders to carry out their death sentences.

About 120 more Afghans are on death row waiting for Karzai to sign their death warrants, a senior judge said.

Three of those executed on November 11 were behind attacks which included the killing of female election workers and other raids in which scores of people were killed or wounded in eastern Afghanistan four years ago, the "Anis" daily said.

The fourth was a criminal, it said.

A Supreme Court judge confirmed the latest executions, but did not give any more details. Five other men were executed this week for murder, rape and abduction.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay said she was dismayed about the recent and pending executions, especially because Karzai's government has acknowledged the Afghan judicial system has serious shortcomings.

Crimes such as kidnapping, rape, and killing have increased sharply in Afghanistan in recent years.

The Taliban, ousted in a U.S.-led invasion in 2001, carried out public executions for similar crimes.