An unmarried couple has been stoned to death by Islamists in front of about 200 people in the town of Aguelhok in northern Mali, BBC reports.
The incident, which is said to have happened Sunday, is the first reported sharia killing since Mali Islamists joined forces and vowed to make Mali an Islamist state, Al-Jazeera reports.
The northern half of Mali has been overrun by rebels-Tuareg and Islamist-since a coup in Mali's capital, Bamako, BBC News reports.
According to The NY Times, the couple stoned was said to have had children outside marriage.
An official told the AFP the couple had 2 children, the youngest of which was a 6 month old baby, but another official said the children weren't even theirs, but that the men who executed them believed they were guilty of a "serious" crime and "deserved punishment," The NY Times reports.
"All they said was it was the law of Sharia that prescribed it, that god willed it," the official recalled. The execution lasted 15 minutes, but the woman died quickly.
The couple was taken to the center of town, buried up to their necks, and then stones were thrown at them until they each died, BBC News reports.
"I was there. The Islamists took the unmarried to the center of Aguelhok, a local government official who wished to remain anonymous told AFP.
"The woman fainted after the first few blows," he said. He also noted that the man screamed out once and then went silent.