Kapisa Governor Denies Schoolgirl Murder Reports

News - Afghanistan


Kapisa provincial governor on Saturday dismissed reports that a schoolgirl, Anisa, was shot dead by Taliban forces last week for her work as a polio health worker, saying instead that Anisa was a 35-year-old woman who was simply caught in the crossfire of a gunfight.

Mehrabuddin Safi quashed the accounts given by other provincial and school officials of Anisa's death, including the claim that she worked with the polio eradication campaign.

According to Safi, Anisa was a 35-year-old who did not work as a volunteer for the polio campaign, although she aspired to, and who was hit by a stray bullet during a gunfight between two men.

"During the fighting, a bullet struck Anisa and she died. I am also rejecting reports that she was a volunteer member of the polio campaign. But she did want to work for polio," he said Saturday at a press conference in Kabul.

Kapisa member of Parliament Aqa Jan on Saturday disagreed with Safi's claim that Anisa was 35, but agreed that she was not targeted by Taliban.

"The girl was in Grade 10 at a school in the province and she died after she was hit by a bullet during a firefight between two people," he said.

The comments come despite multiple reports from provincial and school officials last week that Anisa, a student at Mahmoud Raqi Girls High School in Koohestan, was found with at least six bullets in her body and had been warned from working outside the home as a polio volunteer.

President Hamid Karzai on Thursday ordered a full investigation into the shooting which may shed some clarity on the matter.

Karzai sent a delegation of representatives from the Ministry of Interior, the National Directorate of Security , the Attorney General's Office and local government personnel to fully investigate the case and report back to Karzai on Monday, a statement from the presidential office said.

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