KANDAHAR: Gunmen shot and seriously injured the top female police officer in Afghanistan’s restive Helmand province yesterday, just months after her high-profile predecessor was killed, officials said.
Nigar, who like many Afghans uses only one name, was expected to survive the attack which came after Islam Bibi was murdered in July in a killing that focused attention on the threat to Afghan women who take on public roles.
Nigar was shot by gunmen on a motorbike in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand. “She was walking on the street near the police headquarters,” provincial government spokesman Omar Zawak said. “She is critically injured and has been admitted to the emergency unit at the hospital.”
Zawak said Nigar had worked for seven years in the Helmand police crime branch and reached the rank of investigator, based at Lashkar Gah airport.
Lieutenant Bibi, who was also shot in Lashkar Gah, was seen as an example of how opportunities for women have improved in Afghanistan since the repressive Taliban regime was ousted. But she admitted receiving regular death threats from people who disapproved of her career — including from her own brother. AFP