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South Asia

Two officials killed in separate Afghan attacks

A women's affairs official and a provincial police chief have been killed in separate attacks in Afghanistan. Nobody has yet claimed responsibility.

Nadia Sediqqi (pictured above), acting head of the women's affairs department in Laghman province, was killed Monday as she headed to work in its capital, Mehtar Lam, the provincial governor's spokesman said, adding that Seddiqi was targeted.

Her predecessor, Hanifa Safi, was killed in July by a car bomb that her family blamed on the Taliban.

Afghan women have won back basic rights in education, voting and employment since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001. But women who pursue careers in the country often face opposition in a society where often they are ostracized, or worse, for mixing with men other than husbands or relatives.

Sediqqi worked without bodyguards, a common situation for female government employees.

Police chief killed

Meanwhile, in a separate attack, the provincial police chief of the southwestern province of Nimroz was killed when a roadside bomb hit his car.

“Mohammad Musa Rassouli was heading from Herat province to his office in Nimroz province, when his car struck a roadside bomb placed by the enemies of Afghanistan," said Abdul Raouf Ahmadi, spokesman for the police in the western region of the country.

"Rassouli was seriously injured in the attack and transferred to the hospital in Herat city, and died there," Ahmadi said, adding the incident took place in the Adraskan district of Herat.

He said that Rassouli was the only victim of the attack and his bodyguards escaped unhurt.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the two attacks.

hc/dr (Reuters, AFP, dpa)