The Taliban terrorist group has been accused of killing an 8-month pregnant policewoman in front of her family over the weekend, according to witnesses.
The incident comes amid mounting concerns and reports of repression against women in Afghanistan under the Taliban’s rule.
A spokesperson for the group denied the accusations while speaking to the BBC, adding that an investigation into the murder is ongoing.
“We are aware of the incident and I am confirming that the Taliban have not killed her, our investigation is ongoing,” spokesman Zabiullah Mujaheed said.
Relatives of the victim, who has been identified by her sister as Negar Masoomi, said she worked at a local prison in Ghor, a central Afghan province.
On Sept. 4, three armed Taliban terrorists reportedly forced their way into the house where the family lives, tied everyone up, and searched the house before executing Masoomi with a knife.
“They killed our mother before our eyes. They killed her with a knife,” Mohammad Hanif, the son of the victim, told a local CNN reporter in Ghor. The motive for her death is currently unclear.
The Taliban has previously promised they would not seek revenge on former enemies and assured they will respect women’s rights and grant amnesty to those who fought them in the past.
Mujaheed repeated the terrorist group’s “amnesty promise” for those who worked for the previous administration and shifted the murder down to a “personal enmity or something else.”
When the Taliban was in power last time between 1996 and 2001 prior to a U.S.-led military operation two decades ago that ousted the group, they banned women from the workplace and nearly all women were mostly confined to their homes. They also forbid women from leaving the home unaccompanied and forced them to cover their entire bodies.
In recent weeks, the Taliban has urged employed Afghan women to temporarily stay indoors until fighters of the terrorist group are trained in “respecting and dealing with women.”
“Our security forces are not trained [in] how to deal with women—how to speak to women,” a spokesman for the group, Zabihullah Mujahid, told reporters at a press briefing on Aug. 24, referring to some fighters in the group.
Over the weekend, Taliban terrorists in camouflage fired weapons into the air, bringing an abrupt and frightening end to a protest in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, by women demanding equal rights from the new rulers.
The women’s march—the second in as many days in Kabul—began peacefully. Demonstrators laid a wreath outside Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry to honor Afghan soldiers who died fighting the Taliban before marching on to the presidential palace.
As the demonstrators reached the presidential palace, a dozen Taliban terrorists ran into the crowd, firing in the air and sending demonstrators fleeing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.