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Seventeen Civilians Beheaded In Afghanistan After Attending "Mixed-Gender" Party

REUTERS (UK)AL JAZEERA(Qatar) BBC NEWS (UK), CNN (USA)

Worldcrunch

KABUL - Fifteen men and two women were found beheaded in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Monday. Reuters, Al Jazeera and other news outlets reported that the victims had attended a "mixed-sex" party where men and women were socializing.

The bodies were found in a house near the Musa Qala district, about 75 kilometers north of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, in the South of Afghanistan. Some had gunshot wounds while others showed signs of beatings, reports BBC News.

Although there were no immediate claims of responsibility, the local Governor’s spokesman said that “it was the work of the Taliban”, who have long condemned any social mixing between men and women, according to BBC News.

Meanwhile, ten Afghan army soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack in the same province. CNN reports that an Afghan soldier shot two NATO service members Monday in a so-called "green-on-blue" attack. Afghan and NATO officials are investigating the incident.

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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