Four women, including a rights activist, have been killed in Afghanistan after being picked by a car thought to belong to people who would help them join an evacuation flight.
Afghanistan’s interior ministry spokesman Qari Sayed Khosti said two suspects have been arrested after the four bodies were found at a house in the city. He said:
The arrested people have admitted in initial interrogation that the women were invited to the house by them. Further investigations are underway and the case has been referred to court.
Three sources in Mazar-i-Sharif told AFP that they had heard the women received a call that they thought was an invitation to join an evacuation flight and were picked up by a car, only to be found dead later.
A female employee of an international organisation told AFP, on condition of anonymity:
I knew one of those women, Frozan Safi. She was also a women’s activist, really well known in the city.
The source said that three weeks ago she had herself received a call from someone pretending to offer assistance in her efforts to get to safety abroad. She said:
He knew all information about me, asked me to send my documents, wanted me to fill a questionnaire, pretending to be an official of my office in charge of giving info to the US for my evacuation.
After becoming suspicious she blocked the caller, and is now living in fear. She was shocked when she heard about the killings. She added:
I was already scared. My mental health is not good nowadays. I am always afraid that someone might come to my door, take me somewhere and shoot me.
The Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan in August after a 20-year war against the former US-backed government, are a deeply conservative Islamist movement.
Under their last period of rule, women were banned from public life and since the group’s return to government many rights activists have fled the country.