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Afghanistan Suspected militants kill Indian female author

Published: 9/6/13 @ 12:00


Associated Press

KABUL

An Indian woman whose memoir about life under Taliban rule was turned into a Bollywood movie was shot dead Thursday by suspected members of the Islamist militia, officials said.

The killing of Sushmita Banerjee was the latest in a string of attacks on prominent women in Afghanistan, adding to fears women’s rights in a country where many are barely allowed outside the house will face setbacks after U.S.-led foreign forces fully withdraw in 2014.

The militants arrived before dawn at Banerjee’s residence in eastern Paktika province, which lies in Afghanistan’s east — a region where the Taliban are especially influential. Her husband, Jaanbaz Khan, answered the door, only to be quickly bound and blindfolded, provincial police chief Gen. Dawlat Khan Zadran told The Associated Press.

The militants then dragged Banerjee outside, took her to a nearby road and shot her at least 15 times, Zadran said. Banerjee, who officials said was in her 40s, was buried Thursday morning, a relative told AP. She lived in Daygan Sorqala village, and was well-known as a medical worker in the area, with special training in gynecology, said the relative, Zafar Khan.

Taliban spokesmen did not answer phone calls seeking comment late Thursday.