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Afghanistan election: five campaigners for female candidate shot dead

Posted by The Agonist on August 30th, 2010

From our partners at The Agonist

Aug 30

The Guardian – The bodies of five volunteers working for a female MP have been found riddled with bullets in western Afghanistan, amid a growing campaign of violent intimidation against women running in the country’s elections.

The men, aged between 20 and 35, were found dead by villagers in the Adraskan district of Herat province, some distance from where they were kidnapped by gunmen on Thursday while out campaigning for Fauzia Gilani.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of 10 of her campaign workers as they travelled in remote countryside. Five of the workers were released before the others were found dead.

The insurgent movement has not yet claimed responsibility for the murders, but Gilani – one of hundreds of women running in next month’s elections – said she believed the “enemies of Afghanistan” were responsible.

“These people were just my volunteers,” she said. “They were just trying to help – I wasn’t paying them any money.”

She said she did not know whether they were targeted because she is a woman, but said that in western Afghanistan, the “society is controlled by men”.

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