Agence France-Presse

Gunmen kill top female police officer in Afghanistan's Helmand province

Female Afghan National Police stand at attention during a graduation ceremony at a police training center in Herat on Dec. 20, 2012.
Credit: Aref Karimi

The top female police officer in Afghanistan's Helmand province has died after being shot and wounded by gunmen on Sunday, just two months after the previous woman in her job was killed.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot at 38-year-old Lieutenant Negara as she was getting into her car to go to work.

She was hit in the neck and died early Monday in hospital, local officials told the Associated Press.

Negara, who like many Afghans used only one name, was a sub-inspector in Helmand’s police criminal investigation department.

In July, her predecessor, 37-year-old Islam Bibi, was killed by gunmen as a male relative drove her to work on a motorcycle.

Neither Bibi’s nor Negara’s attackers have been identified or captured.

Only 1 percent of the police force is female in Aghanistan. Several prominent female police officers have been assassinated in recent years, including Lieutenant Colonel Malalai Kakar, perhaps the best-known female police officer in the country, who was shot dead by the Taliban in 2008.

According to Reuters:

The Taliban have often targeted senior female officials working for the US-backed government, although some attacks have been linked to conservative male relatives, outraged that the women are going out to work.

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