Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents have denied involvement in the recent public execution of a woman captured in a horrific video that caused international outrage.
Afghan authorities blamed the Taliban Islamists for killing the 22-year-old woman for adultery, as was common during their rule of the country between 1996 and 2001.
She was was shot dead as dozens of men cheered in a village about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of the capital Kabul.
But the Taliban said in a statement on their website on Thursday that they had investigated the incident and found the woman was "killed by the decision of the local residents".
"The involvement of the... mujahideen as alleged by some officials of the Kabul government is absolutely untrue and baseless," the statement said.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the execution as un-Islamic and unforgivable and security forces have launched a manhunt for those responsible.
The US commander of Nato's 130,000 troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, offered to help local security forces track down and capture the men involved in what he called "an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty".