British aid worker killed in Afghanistan

October 20th, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Oct 20 (DPA) Taliban fighters killed a British woman aid worker for “spreading Christianity,” Monday as she was going to her office in the western part of Kabul, officials said.The attackers, who were riding on motorbike, fled the area after the shooting, interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said.

Bashary had earlier said that the aid worker was from South Africa and was working with an aid organization that was helping disabled people in Afghanistan.

But the British embassy in Kabul later said that one of the its nationals was killed in the city.

“We can confirm that we are dealing with the death of a British national,” an embassy spokesperson said. It was the first time in recent memory that a Western aid worker was murdered in Kabul.

The slain aid worker’s Afghan colleague from Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises, who declined to be named, identified her as Gayle Williams.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack through its spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who said the ousted Islamic fundamentalist rulers of Afghanistan killed the woman because she was preaching Christianity.

“She was under pursuit for a long time and finally was punished today,” Mujahid said in a statement posted on a rebel website, adding that the perpetrators were able to escape.

Taliban militants, who were ousted from power in 2001 by a US military invasion, have carried out similar attacks in the southern province of Kandahar.

Assassins on motorbikes killed a senior policewoman and a government official in Kandahar city in the past month.

A tribal leader and his son who had served as a bodyguard for President Hamid Karzai also were killed by gunmen riding on a motorbike in Kandahar city last week.

Aid organizations have restricted their movements in the country because of increasing attacks not only by Taliban insurgents but also by criminal gangs on personnel and food convoys.

Three Western female aid workers and their Afghan driver were killed in a Taliban attack in an area outside Kabul in August.

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