Woman member of Afghanistan's peace team survives attack by gunmen near Kabul

Fawzia Koofi, who is part of a 21-member team which will represent the Afghan govt in upcoming peace talks with the Taliban, is in good health, said the team's head. No outfit has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Associated Press August 15, 2020 15:56:38 IST
Woman member of Afghanistan's peace team survives attack by gunmen near Kabul

Kabul: A female member of Afghanistan's peace negotiating team and a former parliamentarian survived an assassination attempt, Afghan officials said Saturday.

Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that Fawzia Koofi was attacked late Friday afternoon near the capital of Kabul returning from a visit to the northern province of Parwan.

Koofi is part of a 21 member team charged with representing the Afghan government in upcoming peace talks with the Taliban, following a US deal with the militants that was struck in February.

The head of the Afghan peace delegation, Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, tweeted that Koofi had survived the attack and was "in good health."

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Both Taliban and Islamic State affiliates continue to carry out attacks against Afghan government figures.

Koofi is also a women's rights activist who has been a vocal Taliban critic. She and her sister Maryam Koofi stopped at a market in the Qarabagh district when gunmen attacked them.

Arian said police were launching an investigation. No further details of the assault were available, he added.

The US peace deal aims to recruit the Taliban to fight Islamic State militants in Afghanistan, a mutual enemy. The Taliban and IS are staunch rivals.

The peace deal also paved the way for US and NATO forces to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan and for the Taliban and Afghan government to begin direct talks.

The Afghan government said on Friday that it had released the first 80 of a final 400 Taliban prisoners ahead of direct negotiations between the two sides.

Prisoner releases on both sides are part of the agreement signed in February between the US and the Taliban. It calls for the release of 5,000 Taliban held by the government and 1,000 government and military personnel held by the insurgent group as a goodwill gesture ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations.

Talks are expected to be held in Qatar where the Taliban maintain a political office. Several Afghan leaders told news agency The Associated Press that talks could begin by 20 August.

Updated Date:

also read

As you sow, so shall you reap: Pakistan now has to deal with self-created demon Taliban
World

As you sow, so shall you reap: Pakistan now has to deal with self-created demon Taliban

With the TTP declaring an end to the truce with the government on Monday (November 28) and the resumption of nationwide militant attacks, Pakistan is now staring into an abyss of its own making

One year after the Taliban takeover, how women in Afghanistan are more oppressed than ever
World

One year after the Taliban takeover, how women in Afghanistan are more oppressed than ever

Since taking control of Afghanistan, the Taliban has erased women from public life by restricting their access to workplaces and education. The most recent move see women being banned from visiting parks and gyms — even if accompanied by a male ‘chaperone’

Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar meets Afghan counterpart, top Taliban leaders in Kabul
Politics

Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar meets Afghan counterpart, top Taliban leaders in Kabul

The meeting between Pakistan's Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar and Amir Khan Muttaki, Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan took place a day after the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) declared that it will no longer observe a month-long ceasefire with the Pakistani government, raising security concerns i