Two Afghan women charity workers shot dead

KABUL: Police on Monday found the bullet-riddled bodies of two women relatives working with an Afghan charity in the volatile south of the country, an official said.

One of the dead was the founder and head of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Mahjuba, which helps women in Helmand province learn vocational skills such as tailoring, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said.

“Police found the bullet-riddled bodies of the women this morning,” Ahmadi told AFP, adding they were discovered on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

Mahjabin, who established the NGO, and her cousin Nazanin had been travelling between Lashkar Gah and Garmser, a volatile area in the Helmand River valley, when they were attacked late Sunday, Ahmadi said.

Each woman was identified by only one name.

“We are not sure whether they were killed by militants or robbers,” he said.

Prominent women in Afghanistan are often targeted by religious extremists who use religion as an excuse for women to remain confined to their homes.

A Taliban spokesman contacted by AFP said the group was not responsible for the killings.

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