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» 07/14/2012
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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See also
07/10/2008 AFGHANISTAN
In Kabul, security down, killings up among minors and civilian population
12/02/2011 AFGHANISTAN
Afghan women victims of violence and abuse like under the Taliban
08/08/2006 AFGHANISTAN
Kabul clamps down on "imported vices" of alcohol, prostitution
10/08/2004 AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan on the eve of presidential election, a country eager for life, peace and change
by Marta Allevato
07/09/2009 AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan, attack in Logar: 25 victims, mostly students

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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