The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday “unreservedly” condemned the assassination attempt on Maidan Shar Mayor Zarifa Ghafari.
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Ghafari survived an armed attack in Kabul on Saturday morning while she was travelling to Wardak province.
She is also a recipient of the 2020 International Women of Courage award which is given by the State Department.
“As I have said before, the future of Afghanistan will not be won by those who seek to accomplish their political goals through violence and terror,” the statement by Pompeo said.
“Women belong in the public square, in Afghanistan and every other country around the world… The use of violence to intimidate will only undermine the process. Any attempt to silence Mayor Ghafari and other brave Afghan women leaders will not succeed.”
He added that the peace negotiations in Doha represent the “best chance” in a generation for a “durable, inclusive peace” in Afghanistan.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on Ghafari yet.
Taliban’s ‘targeted killing’ groups
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the Taliban has formed a group of 100 people who are involved in targeted killing across Afghanistan.
MoI spokesperson Tariq Arian said during a televised interview that they had arrested 17 members of this group who had confessed.
“… [T]he 17 members of this terrorist network, who were recently arrested by the security forces…. have confessed that they are part of the group of 100,” Arian said, adding the Taliban had ordered the men to be part of the targeted killings.
The Taliban said that no civilians have been hurt in their targeted killings.
Most of the recent suicide attacks and targeted IED explosions have gone unclaimed in the past few weeks.
The New York Times had reported on Sep. 19, that the new Taliban tactic is to not declare accountability for assaults, bombings and assassinations.
The rationale was that this would allow them to exert pressure while maintaining deniability for the violence.
However, the Taliban said no civilians were harmed in their targeted attacks.