Taliban militants reportedly shot and killed a pregnant police officer in front of her children and husband, though officials from the group have denied any involvement and say an investigation of the incident is underway.
According to the BBC, the officer was identified by local media as Banu Negar, and she was reportedly murdered in the central Afghan city of Firozkoh outside of the family’s home.
“We are aware of the incident and I am confirming that the Taliban have not killed her, our investigation is ongoing,” spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the BBC. He went on to blame the incident on a “personal enmity or something else” while noting that the Taliban had said it will grant amnesty to citizens who once worked for the U.S.-supported central government.
But BBC correspondents cited a trio of sources who all confirmed that it was Taliban militants who first beat, and then shot Negar.
Relatives of the slain officer provided the outlet with extremely graphic images showing “blood spattered on a wall in the corner of a room and a body, the face heavily disfigured,” said the BBC report.
Members of her family claimed she was eight months pregnant and was employed by a local prison.
Relatives went on to say that three armed Taliban showed up outside Negar’s home on Saturday to search it, tying up family members in the process. One witness said that all three spoke Arabic; the most common languages in Afghanistan are Pashto and Dari.
(Video: BBC News)
Following their takeover of the country, Taliban leaders put out a statement pledging there would be no “grudges” and “no revenge,” though many remained skeptical, especially when it comes to the treatment of women. A BBC reporter who spoke with rural Afghan villagers said the fate of women in the town — and the country — remained unclear. One resident told the correspondent that as long as women wear hijabs in public they can move around unmolested.
To that point, however, Taliban militants broke up a women’s march in Kabul over the weekend by firing their weapons into the air, Fox News reported. The march began peacefully as the women traveled to the defense ministry to pay homage to Afghan troops who fought and died during the conflict.
And, the BBC added, “human rights groups have been documenting revenge killings, detentions and persecution of religious minorities.”
Despite their rhetoric, the BBC noted, “there’s a growing chasm between Taliban statements and the message coming from the streets where every Talib has a gun and controls his own corner.”
Last month, after quickly retaking the country, Taliban officials vowed to protect and respect “women’s rights” though the militant group has a dismal record of ensuring that girls and women have even basic civil liberties.
Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, told reporters that the group would only honor the rights of women within the confines of restrictive Sharia law. One Taliban official would go on to grant an interview to a female news correspondent, while others in the leadership said women should go back to school and back to work.
The group released an “extensive document” on Sunday outlining how men and women would be educated on university campuses. The document said they will be separated in classrooms, if necessary, by a curtain, and that women will be taught by other women. When none are available, the document says that “old men” with good character can substitute as instructors, the BBC noted.
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