KABUL: Five Afghan men were hanged on Wednesday for the gang rape of four women despite the United Nations and human rights groups criticising the trial and calling for new president Ashraf Ghani to stay the executions.

“Five men in connection to the Paghman incident and one other big criminal were executed this afternoon,” Rahmatullah Nazari, the deputy attorney general, told AFP.

The rapes took place in Paghman, outside Kabul.

There was no immediate comment from the office of President Ashraf Ghani, who faced strong public pressure to not stay the executions after he came to power last week.

“The court's verdict has been implemented and all the convicts have been executed — five from the Paghman case, plus Habib Istalifi, who was head of a notorious kidnapping gang," the attorney general's chief of staff Atta Mohammad Noori told AFP.

The men were executed in Pul-e-Charkhi prison near Kabul.

The brutal attack in August provoked a national outcry with many Afghans demanding the men be hanged, and then-president Hamid Karzai signed their death sentences shortly before leaving office.

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