Taliban fighters shot and killed a woman for not wearing a burqa in Afghanistan on Tuesday — the same day the group pledged to usher in a new inclusive era in the country that honors “women’s rights.”
A photo emerged of a woman in Takhar province lying in a pool of blood, with loved ones crouched around her, after she was killed by insurgents for being in public without a head covering, according to Fox News.
The killing came amid the group’s version of a charm offensive, after its swift takeover of the country in the absence of US troops, who had been propping up allied military groups since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid held a news conference to say that the insurgents would honor women’s rights, within highly restrictive Sharia law. The militants urged women to return to school and work, and another Taliban spokesman granted a televised interview to a female journalist.
Mujahid also vowed to grant amnesty to Afghans who worked with the now-toppled government backed by the US.
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan before 9/11, they prevented women and girls from leaving the house without a male chaperone, and did not allow them to work or receive an education.
Insurgents also vowed Tuesday not to interfere with US-led evacuation efforts of Westerners and their Afghan allies, but were instead reported to be controlling the entrances of Hamid Karzai International Airport, and attacking those who were trying to flee.
“There was kids, women, babies, old women, they could barely walk,” an Afghan former State Department contractor told Fox. “They [are in a] very, very bad situation, I’m telling you. At the end, I was thinking that there was like 10,000 or more than 10,000 people, and they’re running into the airport … The Taliban [were] beating people and the people were jumping from the fence, the concertina wire, and also the wall.”
Elsewhere in Kabul, Taliban fighters were recorded shooting guns as they patrolled neighborhoods that are home to activists and government workers, according to the report.
Militants were looking for people who had helped the US, and had questioned the former defense contractor’s neighbors about him, according to the report.
With AP wires