JALALABAD, Afghanistan - Even in a country as inured to violence as Afghanistan, the unexplained murder of eight members of a single family has caused a wave of shock and revulsion.
The victims, including five children aged from two months to five years, were found in the eastern province of Nangahar on Monday, each shot once in the head, apparently by three unknown men who had been guests of the family.
There has so far been no explanation for the murder, although regional officials have said they had no sign it was connected to the Taliban insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives so far this year alone.
The horrified reaction from Afghanistan's active users of social media underlined the widespread shock over the murders, despite the daily occurrence of violent death.
"They are inhuman and are not Afghans. They are wild animals. May God put them in hands of Daesh, and Daesh will behead each of them," wrote one Facebook user, using a name often used to refer to Islamic State militants.
In a statement, the interior ministry called the murder an "act of absolute barbarism" and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
But the reaction from many social media users appeared to point to a deeper sense of despair at the sheer brutality of the killing. "There is nothing left in Afghanistan in the name of mercy,"wrote another Facebook user. "Its soil is covered with innocent people's blood."