An Islamist group in African stoned a couple to death, apparently for having sex without being married.
The man and woman were forced into holes dug into the ground where four people hurled stones at them until they were dead.
The barbaric punishment was a sharp rebuke to the two for breaking Islamic law.
According to a local government source, they were killed because they “lived maritally without being married” – an apparent euphemism for sex.
It took place earlier this week in Taghlit, a settlement in the west African nation of Mali, according to the AFP news agency.
Extremist groups there, some affiliated with Al-Qaeda, took over large amounts of territory in 2012 in the bid to establish an Islamic state.
They were largely driven out by French forces (Mali is a former French colony) the next year, but still have influence over some areas.
An unnamed local government source told AFP: “The Islamists dug two holes where they put the man and the woman who lived maritally without being married… Four people threw stones at them until they died.”
The killing was billed as a public execution, with local citizens encouraged to take part – although participation appears to have been low.
The killing caused local political groups to sound the alarm at the increasing influence of violent jihadist groups.
France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, has promised to devote more resources to fighting extremism in the country, which he visited this week.