Eleven bodies — some of them decapitated — have been found in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, officials said Friday.

Villagers spotted the bodies in a field and called police. The victims, all male, "were killed because the Taliban said they were spying for the government, working for the government," deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Khan said.

Five or six of the bodies had been decapitated, the region's governor said. Other reports say all the bodies were beheaded.

The Taliban's brutal reign over the country, which ended after U.S. occupation in 2001, was characterized by extensive corporal and capital punishment for crimes, including beheadings, death by stoning and amputation of hands and feet for relatively minor offences.