Kabul, Jan 12 (efe-epa).- At least three women officers from the Afghan army were gunned down, and two others were injured in a terror attack on Tuesday in northern Afghanistan, marking the latest episode in a series of targeted killings in the country, authorities reported.
The attack was carried out by two people on an army vehicle on its way to the headquarters of the Army’s 209 Shaheen Military Corps at around 7.30am in Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province.
“Unfortunately in this terrorist attack three female officers of the corps were martyred,” Hanif Rezaee, spokesperson of the Army’s 209th Shaheen Military Corps, told EFE.
He added that two more employees of the army including a female officer and the driver of the vehicle were injured, and had been admitted to a hospital.
There are only tens of female officers working in Shaheen Military Corps compared to the large number of male members, and the Corps finds itself short of female members to fill its quota for women in its ranks.
The killing of the female officers further undermines the plans of Afghan security forces, which for years have been trying to increase the number of female officers.
“We are still trying to recruit new female members to fill female positions in the corps,” the spokesperson said.
Although Afghan forces have maintained an average of 350,000 male officers for years, the number of women in security bodies remains only a few thousand, mainly due to cultural reasons.
Most traditional Afghan families reject the idea of a woman working outside their home, particularly in the security forces.
The attack on the female officers comes as the country has been witnessing for months a series of unprecedented targeted attacks on journalists, activists, politicians and intellectuals in Afghanistan, where shootings or bombings on victims’ vehicles have become an almost daily reality in the country.
Although the government has directly blamed the Taliban for the killings, the insurgent group has repeatedly denied its involvement in the attacks, and has directly blamed Afghan security forces for carrying them out to fabricate negative propaganda against them. EFE-EPA