Source AP ©

Two alleged prostitutes killed in Pakistan

Two women accused by suspected Islamic militants of being prostitutes were beheaded, police said Friday.

Villagers spotted the decapitated bodies on the outskirts of Bannu, a city in a region where extremists are waging a violent campaign to impose Taliban-style social norms, a police official said.

The two women, 28 and 30, were riding an auto rickshaw when five armed men, wearing masks, overpowered them, bundled them into a car and drove way, he said, quoting witnesses.

The official asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A note found with the bodies identified the victims as Bannu residents and accused them of "doing acts of obscenity," a term meaning prostitution, according to the police official.

"We have started doing this to end obscenity in the area," the official quoted the unidentified assailants as saying in the note.

Authorities will investigate the slayings, he said.

Extremists have bombed shops selling music and movies in Bannu and other towns in North West Frontier Province, and barbers have been warned not to shave customers' beards - moves reminiscent of the harsh version of Islamic law once imposed by the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

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