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Monday, Sep 25, 2006
Gunmen kill director of women's affairs in southern Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - Two gunmen on a motorbike killed the provincial director of Afghanistan's Ministry of Women's Affairs outside her home Monday in apparent retribution for her efforts to help educate women, officials said.
Safia Ahmed-jan was slain outside the front gate of her home in this southern Afghan city as she was walking to her office, said Tawfiq ul-Ulhakim Parant, senior adviser to the women's ministry in Kabul.
Aleem Sidique, spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said the UN was "appalled at this senseless murder."
"What we need to see in Afghanistan is peace, development and progress," Sidique said. "We share the sentiment of the majority of Afghan people who are appalled at this killing."
Safia Ana Jan, head of the women's affairs department in the province of Kandahar, was killed by armed men on motorbikes as she got into her car outside her home on Monday, her nephew said.
A Taliban commander, Mullah Hayat Khan, said Ama Jan was killed because she worked for the government.
"We have told people time and time again that anyone working for the government - including women - will be killed," Khan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- Gunmen riding motorcycles shot dead the head of a women's department in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Monday, a security official and a relative said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting of Safia Ama Jan. Taliban insurgents have killed numerous government officials as part of their war against the government and foreign forces supporting it.
Ama Jan was on her way to work, getting into a car outside her house, when the gunmen struck, said her nephew, who identified himself as just Farhad.
"She died on the spot," he told reporters.
Farhad declined to speculate on the identity or motive of the gunmen, except to say: "We had no personal enmity with anyone."
A spokesman for the United Nations said he was "appalled at this senseless murder."
"What we need to see in Afghanistan is peace, development and progress," said Aleem Sidique of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
"We share the sentiment of the majority of Afghan people who are appalled at this killing."
More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers are part of a NATO-led force serving in Afghanistan. The Canadians mostly work in the violent southern Kandahar region, where they are leading NATO troops in the Taliban militant stronghold.