Taliban allegedly shoots pregnant Afghan policewoman in front of family
The Taliban shot dead a pregnant Afghan policewoman in front of her family, reports said, in a fresh instance of brutality against women by the terror group. Banu Negar, who was reportedly eight months pregnant, was killed in front of her husband and children in Firozkoh, the capital of Ghor province in central Afghanistan. The Taliban, however, has denied involvement in her murder.
Three gunmen stormed Negar's house on Saturday and conducted a search before tying up members of the family, relatives told the BBC. The intruders, who were heard speaking Arabic, beat and shot dead Negar in the presence of her family. Purported images of the incident showed the woman's body, her face heavily disfigured, and blood splashed on the wall beside her, the publication reported.
The deceased police officer worked at the provincial prison before the area fell to the Taliban, a civil activist in Ghor told Etilaatroz. The insurgents notably took control of Afghan capital Kabul on August 15, regaining power after 20 years.
Meanwhile, the Taliban said its members were not involved in the incident and are investigating the matter. "We are aware of the incident and I am confirming that the Taliban have not killed her, our investigation is ongoing," its spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the BBC. He reiterated the Taliban's "amnesty" for people who worked for the previous, United States-backed Afghan administration.
Since returning to power, the Taliban has been promising a more "inclusive" government that will uphold women's rights. However, reports from across the country have painted a starkly different picture. Earlier, a woman who participated in a protest in Kabul, said she was beaten up by the group's fighters. Many others there have also started buying head and body coverings, fearing a similar fate.
On a related note, the Taliban has also released rules, such as the segregation of male and female students at universities. It said women will be taught by women, but if none are available, "old men" of good character can be roped in, according to AFP. Female students must also wear an abaya (robe) and niqab, or face veil, it added.