KUNDUZ -- Taliban fighters killed a pregnant woman in Sancharak District because she criticised the group for their atrocities, say local authorities in Sar-e-Pul Province.
The woman was 25 years old and had three children, according to Naqibullah Daqeeq, the district governor. She was fatally shot in the Awqaf area of Sancharak District on orders of Qari Atiqullah, a Taliban leader.
"This woman's name was Masooma, and she was dragged out of her home on March 13 and taken to the Taliban court, where she was shot dead," Daqeeq told Salaam Times.
"This woman was killed brutally because she criticised the Taliban's war against the government," he said. "The Taliban threw her corpse into an open field near Awqaf village."
The murder occurred after a clash between the Taliban and security forces left several militants dead, said Zabiullah Amani, a spokesperson for the Sar-e-Pul governor. Authorities moved the militants' bodies to Awqaf village.
"This woman joined a women's gathering held to mourn the dead Taliban fighters," said Amani. "She called the Taliban's war with the government 'illegitimate' in a conversation with another woman."
"When the Taliban team leader, Qari Atiqullah, heard about the conversation, he ordered her killing," he said.
The government is determined to launch military operations against the Taliban in vulnerable areas of Sar-e-Pul Province so that it can drive the Taliban out of those areas, said Amani.
The Taliban committed two heinous crimes because Masooma was carrying a baby in her womb, said Naseema Arzo, director of women's affairs in Sar-e-Pul Province.
"I condemn this act of the Taliban group; they have committed an unforgivable crime," said Arzo.
Women have always supported the government, and that support has helped the government to implement great projects for women in various areas, according to Mohammad Noor Rahmani, chairman of the Sar-e-Pul Provincial Council.
"Because of war, more than 5,000 families have been displaced in Sancharak District during the past year," Rahmani told Salaam Times. "The Taliban have deprived Afghans of a better life for various [irrational] reasons."
The Taliban have repeatedly committed crimes similar to Masooma's slaying, making civilians hate them, Mohammad Ashraf Sadaat, 35, a resident of Sar-e-Pul, told Salaam Times.
"The Taliban commit killings and kidnappings and oppress civilians in the name of religion and jihad," Sadaat said.
"The Taliban are committing atrocities, but our defence and security forces are working around the clock to protect the public. We ask our security forces to launch clearing operations against this group so that it can be defeated," he said.