Afghan female MP survives suicide attack, three killed

Shukria Barekzai is renowned as a campaigner for improved women’s rights in Afghanista.

Shukria Barekzai is renowned as a campaigner for improved women’s rights in Afghanista.

A suicide bomber on Sunday targeted a vehicle convoy of Afghan lawmakers that included a prominent female MP, killing three civilians and injuring 17 others, officials said.

The blast, in which the attacker detonated an explosives-packed car, left the MPs’ vehicles badly damaged on a main road in the west of Kabul, close to the parliament.

“[Shukria] Barekzai — she is fine and suffers small injuries,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said of the politician via Twitter.

“Unfortunately three civilians (were) martyred and around 17 injured in today’s attack.”

Barekzai is renowned as a campaigner for improved women’s rights in Afghanistan, a stance that attracts fierce opposition from many Islamist groups and Muslim conservatives.

She has spoken about receiving regular death threats.

Shinkay Karokhil, another female MP, told AFP: “The target was a convoy of MPs who were driving toward the parliament. Shukria Barekzai was affected by the attack but she is fine.”

The attack came the day after President Ashraf Ghani ended a two-day visit to neighboring Pakistan, which is blamed for sheltering insurgent leaders behind many of the attacks in Afghanistan.

Ghani, a supporter of better women’s rights, said improved relations with Pakistan could aid security in the troubled region as US-led NATO combat troops leave Afghanistan after more than a decade of fighting the Taliban.

 
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