Enraged Afghans took to social media on Wednesday to demand severe punishment for the kidnapping and killing of a six-year-old girl in the capital, Kabul.
Kidnapping has become more frequent in conflict-ridden Afghanistan in recent years, with Afghans of all income levels, as well as foreigners, potential targets.
The interior ministry said the girl, named Mahsa, was abducted on Sunday, her captors demanding a ransom of $300,000.
Kabul police later arrested two men in a raid and released a video clip showing the pair, in their 20s, apparently confessing to the crime.
They said in the video that they had picked up the child on a motorcycle, took her to a rented room and, when the ransom failed to arrive, they killed her.
Afghans took to social media to voice their outrage over the girl’s murder.
A spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani said the killing deeply saddened him.
London-based human rights organisation Amnesty International also condemned the brutal killing.
“We are horrified to hear the news of a 6-year-old girl’s murder in Kabul. Afghanistan’s children must be protected at all costs,” Amnesty said on Twitter.
This month, the US embassy posted a security alert warning that US citizens were priority kidnapping targets of both armed groups and criminal gangs.