Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A shot rings out, but the burqa-clad woman sitting on the rocky ground does not respond.
The man pointing a rifle at her from a few feet away lets loose another round, but still there is no reaction.
He fires a third shot, and finally the woman slumps backwards.
But the man fires another shot.
And another. And another.
Nine shots in all.
Around him, dozens of men on a hillside cheer: "God is great!"
Officials in Afghanistan,
where the amateur video was filmed, believe the woman was executed
because two Taliban commanders had a dispute over her, according to the
governor of the province where the killing took place.
Both apparently had some kind of relationship with the woman, said Parwan province governor Abdul Basir Salangi.
"In order to save face," they accused her of adultery, Salangi said.
Then they "faked a court to decide about the fate of this woman and in one hour, they executed the woman," he added.
Both Taliban commanders were subsequently killed by a third Taliban commander, Salangi said.
"We went there to investigate and we are still looking for people who were involved in this brutal act," he said.
It is not clear from the video when it was filmed.
The killing took place in the village of Qimchok, not far north of the capital Kabul.
Lawmaker Fawzia Koofi called it a huge backward step for women's issues in Afghanistan.
"I think we will have to
do something serious about this, we will have to do something as women,
but also as human beings," she said. "She didn't even say one word to
Koofi wept on Saturday as she watched the video of the execution.
The United States condemned the killing "in the strongest possible terms," calling it a "cold-blooded murder."
"The protection of
women's rights is critical around the world, but especially in
Afghanistan, where such rights were ignored, attacked and eroded under
Taliban rule," the American embassy said in a statement on Sunday.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan also condemned the execution.
"Let's be clear, this
wasn't justice, this was murder, and an atrocity of unspeakable
cruelty," ISAF commander Gen. John Allen said in a statement Sunday.
"The Taliban's continued brutality toward innocent civilians,
particularly women, must be condemned in the strongest terms. There has
been too much progress made by too many brave Afghans, especially on the
part of women, for this kind of criminal behavior to be tolerated."
The public execution is
the latest and among the most shocking examples of violence against
women in Afghanistan, but it is far from an isolated case.
The Taliban also does
not have a monopoly on the violence, cautioned Christine Fair, with the
Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University.
"It's really important
to not see this exclusively in terms of the Taliban, but this is a set
of practices that actually have existed and continue to exist throughout
Afghanistan," she said.
Nearly nine out of 10
women suffer physical, sexual, or psychological violence or forced
marriage at least once in their lifetimes, Human Rights Watch said in
its 2012 annual report.
The country has 14
shelters for abused women, a number which the campaign group says "does
not meet even a small fraction of the need."
Hundreds of students and
teachers at girls' schools in the country have been hospitalized with
suspected poisoning this year alone. Girls were forbidden to go to
school when the Taliban ruled the country from 1996 to 2001.
Salangi, the provincial
governor, spoke to CNN about the killing on Sunday, the same day that
representatives of more than 80 nations and organizations met to
consider pouring billions more aid dollars into the country.
U.N. Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon urged delegates including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton not to demand complex reforms in exchange for the money.
"Afghan institutions are
still in their nascent stages," he said. "The very programs which offer
the best hope of sustainability of Afghan institutions should not be
held hostage to complex preconditions."
Clinton said donors at
the conference pledged about $16 billion for Afghanistan over four
years. That amount did not include money from the United States because
any foreign aid must be approved by Congress.
Under a security pact with Afghanistan, nearly all U.S.-led NATO troops will withdraw from the country by the end of 2014.
"We can ask the question
what will happen when we leave, but let's remember that this is
actually happening while we're still there," said Fair, with Georgetown.
CNN's Richard Allen Greene, Chelsea J. Carter and Sara Sidner, and journalist Ruhullah Khapalwak contributed to this story.