Conflict & Justice

Gunman Kills Senior Afghan Policewoman as Taliban Vows to Kill More


Relatives and policewomen sit at the back of an ambulance as they transport the body of Sub-Inspector Negara for burial in Helmand province.


Photo: REUTERS/Abdul Malik

Sub-Inspector Negara was fatally shot by gunmen outside her home on Sunday.

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She was apparently targeted because of her gender.

Negara was the most senior policewoman in Helmand province.

Like many Afghans, she had only one name.

She was a mother in her late thirties.

Her only son, Hamid Jan, described the last time her alive: "I was going to work on my motorbike, so I asked Mom to come with me. But she refused and told me that a car was coming to pick her up. I was on the road when I received a call informing me that my mother had been shot."

Negara was the second policewoman to be killed in Helmand province since July.

Speaking at Negara's funeral of today, a female police officer–who did not want to be named–said she and her colleagues were not safe: "We have received warnings from the Taliban that they will kill each of us within three months. They said that they will kill every single policewoman in Helmand within three months."

Candace Rondeaux is currently working on a book on the conflict in Afghanistan based on her five years experience living and working there as an analyst with the International Crisis Group.

Rondeaux says women are especially at risk.

Afghan women have not traditionally entered the workplace, says Rondeaux, and when they do it upsets, political, cultural and economic norms.