The Killing

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Unknown assailants killed a female former lawmaker and her bodyguard this week, the first assassination of a politician of the ousted Western-backed Afghani government since the Taliban takeover in 2021, Voice of America reported.

Authorities said gunmen shot and killed Mursal Nabizada at her home in the capital, Kabul. No one has claimed responsibility for the murder and police officials said they are conducting a “serious” investigation into the incident.

Nabizada, 32, became a member of parliament before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 following the withdrawal of US-led troops after nearly two decades of conflict.

She was one of the few female politicians and civil society leaders who remained in Afghanistan when the Islamist group retook power.

Many former Afghan and Western lawmakers condemned the killing and called for punitive action against the Taliban.

Following their takeover, the armed Islamist group announced a general amnesty for all Afghans associated with the former government. The Taliban has also set up a special commission to encourage those who have fled the country to return.

Afghan women made significant strides across the male-dominated society in the years following the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which ousted the then-Taliban government for harboring the al Qaeda terrorist network.

Although the Taliban initially vowed to respect women’s rights, Afghan women have been excluded from nearly all aspects of public life with bans on females attending secondary and higher education, engaging in public sector work and even visiting public parks.

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