Afghanistan: Taliban accused of murdering female police officer

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Intl desk, Sept 05: Taliban militants in Afghanistan have shot dead a policewoman in a provincial city, relatives have told the BBC.

The woman, named in local media as Banu Negar, was killed at the family home in front of relatives in Firozkoh, the capital of central Ghor province.

The killing comes amid increasing reports of escalating repression of women in Afghanistan.

The BBC has asked Taliban authorities for comment. The local Taliban promised to investigate, the family says.

Details of the incident are still sketchy as many in Firozkoh fear retribution if they speak out. Relatives supplied graphic images showing blood spattered on a wall in the corner of a room and a body, the face heavily disfigured.

One report suggested Negar, who worked at the local prison, was eight months pregnant. The Taliban involved were heard speaking Arabic, a witness said.

Since taking power on 13 August, the Taliban has sought to portray itself as more tolerant than its reputation, but incidents of brutality and repression are still being reported in parts of the country.

Human rights groups have been documenting revenge killings, detentions and persecution of religious minorities. The Taliban has said officially that it will not seek retribution against those who worked for the former government.

On Saturday, Taliban officials broke up a demonstration by dozens of women in Kabul demanding the continuation of rights built up since the end of the Taliban’s previous spell in power.

The group say the Taliban targeted them with tear gas and pepper spray as they tried to walk from a bridge to the presidential palace.

But the Taliban maintain the protest got out of control, according to Afghan media outlet Tolo News. It was the latest of several protests by women in Kabul and Herat.

“Twenty-five years ago, when the Taliban came, they prevented me from going to school,” journalist Azita Nazimi told Tolo.

“After five years of their rule, I studied for 25 years and worked hard. For the sake of our better future, we will not allow this to happen.”

Another demonstrator, Soraya, told Reuters: “They also hit women on the head with a gun magazine, and the women became bloody.”

Source: BBC