07/14/2012, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN

Two attacks target head of women rights and intelligence chief

Two attacks, yesterday and this morning. Hanifa Safi head of the women's affairs department of the province of Laghman killed by a bomb planted in his car. Ahmad Khan, top military chief and close to Karzai died in a suicide bombing that killed 22 people. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Attacks against leading Afghan personalities continue. This morning at Aybak (Samangan), a bomb killed Ahmad Khan, head of the province of Samangan. The attack, which occurred during a wedding party, left more than 22 dead and 40 wounded. It came just one day after the tragic death of Hanifa Safi (pictured), head of the Department for women's affairs of the eastern Afghan province of Laghman (eastern Afghanistan), among the most influential women in Afghanistan, who was killed by a bomb placed under the car in which she was traveling with her husband. At the moment nobody has claimed the two attacks. This morning, Taliban leaders issued a statement in which they deny any involvement.

Experts say the attack against Khan is related to the diatribes among Afghan ethnic groups for control of the country. Originally from Uzbekistan, he was a strong supporter of President Karzai's Pashtun faction, which in recent years has woven several alliances with ethnic Uzbeks and Tajiks in an effort to give way to reconciliation with the Taliban.

If the death of Khan seems to have ties to political roots in the internal battle for power, no one can explain the murder of Hanifa Safi. She was engaged for years in defending the rights of Afghan women and was a symbol of change after years of Taliban rule. Jan Kubis, UN representative in Kabul, said that the entire population is shocked by this news. "The killing - he says - of a courageous person who dedicated her life to serving her country, devoting herself to improving the status of women is an insult to all of Afghanistan."

Khan and Hanifa Safi join the sad list of leaders and politicians engaged in dialogue who have been killed between 2011 and 2012. Among these, Burhanuddin Rabbani, President of the Council for Peace in Afghanistan and head of dialogue with Taliban, killed by a suicide bomber Sept. 20, 2011.

 

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