Prominent Afghan female official shot dead

By REUTERS
December 10, 2012 10:20

 
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JALALABAD, Afghanistan - Unknown gunmen shot dead a senior female government worker on Monday, officials in eastern Afghanistan said, five months after her predecessor was killed in a bomb attack.

Violence against women appears to be on the rise in Afghanistan, which activists and some lawmakers blame on what they say is waning interest in women's rights on the part of President Hamid Karzai's government, claims he denies.

Nadia Sediqqi, acting head of the women's affairs department in Laghman province, was killed as she headed to work in the capital Mehtar Lam, said the provincial governor's spokesman Sarhadi Zwak.

"They shot her as she was getting into a rickshaw," Zwak said of the attack about 150 km (93 miles) east of Kabul, adding that she worked without bodyguards -- a common situation for female government workers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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