afghan women
An Afghan woman, wearing a burqa, is reflected in a shop window at the main market Sept. 30, 2004 in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

A woman in Afghanistan was beheaded for going to shop in the city without her husband, according to multiple reports. The 30-year-old woman was brutally killed Monday night, according to British newspaper The Independent, which cited "officials in Afghanistan."

The woman was stabbed and beheaded in the remote city of Lati, in the Sar-e-Pul province of northern Afghanistan. Zabihullah Amani, spokesman for the governor of Sar-e-Pul, reportedly confirmed the account to the Middle East Press, saying the woman was killed by the Taliban for committing the so-called "infidelity act" of shopping alone. The woman didn't have any children.

Sar-e-Pul's women's affairs head Nasima Arezo confirmed the incident, reported Tolo News, an Afghan news outlet. Citing spokesman Amani, Tolo News also reported that it was a group of men linked to the Taliban who killed the woman, whose husband was in Iran. The small village of Lati is occupied by the Taliban, which has apparently denied any involvement in the beheading.

The Taliban, a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim movement, held power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. The group enforces strict laws against women that restricts their freedoms, including banning them from speaking too loudly in public and requiring them to wear a traditional burqa to cover their entire body.

The Taliban also limited education for women, forbade them from working and required them to be accompanied by a male relative when going out in public. Public punishments for breaking rules have included lashings and executions in soccer stadiums, according to the Independent.

Things have changed slowly for women slowly in Afghanistan since the Taliban fell out of power. Niloofar Rahman, for instance, became the first fixed-wing pilot in the country's air force and was awarded the U.S. State Department's "Women of Courage" award in 2015. But there was an angry response from many in the country and last week she requested asylum in the United States, saying "things are not changing," in Afghanistan. Afghan officials responded by attacking Rahman.

"I am sure she lied by saying she was threatened, just to win the asylum case," Afghan Gen. Mohammad Radmanish, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said this weekend, according to the New York Times.