Police Chief, Women's Official Killed In Afghan Attacks
December 10, 2012
An Afghan provincial police chief and an official in charge of women's affairs have been killed in separate attacks.
They are the latest victims of a campaign of targeted killings against government officials.
Officials say the police chief for the southern province of Nimroz was traveling home from neighboring Herat Province early on December 10 when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the morning hours.
General Mohammad Musa Rasouli was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Rasouli's driver, Wali Ahmad, told Reuters: 'It was 6 o'clock and I was driving the car to Nimroz and our commander was in the car. When our vehicle was struck by a bomb, the commander was alive for a while but then he died. Also, one of the soldiers was wounded in the blast.'
The Associated Press quoted Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi as claiming responsibility for the attack and saying, 'We are continuing to target government officials.'
Also on December 10, gunmen shot dead the acting head of the women's affairs department for the eastern province of Laghman.
Sarhadi Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that Najiya Siddiqi was killed as she traveled to work in the provincial capital, Mihtarlam.
'This morning, as [Siddiqi] headed to work, in front of her house, she was taking a rickshaw when two unknown gunmen gunned her down and [the attackers] managed to escape,' he said.
Siddiqi took over the job after her predecessor, Hanifa Safi, was killed in July by a magnetic bomb attached to her car.
Adila Amarakhyl from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said such killings will not stop female activists from fighting for their rights.
'[Siddiqi's] murder is an enormous loss for Afghan women, for rights advocates and activists to protect women's rights in Afghanistan,' she said.
'Many times, such women are brought to silence. However, I don't think taking their lives could make women give up their struggle for supporting those women that are victims of cruelty and abuse in Afghanistan.'
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Siddiqi's killing, but assassinations are increasingly used by Taliban insurgents in their fight against Afghanistan's Western-backed government.
The latest attacks come after a suicide bombing attack wounded Afghanistan's intelligence chief, Asadullah Khalid, in Kabul on December 6.
The Taliban e-mailed a statement to journalists claiming responsibility for the attack.
With reporting by AFP, AP, dpa, and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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