A mother-of-four was beaten to death by Taliban fighters in front of her young children after she failed to give into demand to cook for them, CNN reported Wednesday, citing local sources.
The woman named Najia was at home with her three young sons and daughter in a small village in northern Afghanistan when the extremists knocked on their door.
According to CNN, the daughter Manizha, 25, knew they were coming as her mother had told her they had done the same thing the previous three days, demanding that she cook food for up to 15 fighters.
“My mother told them, ‘I am poor, how can I cook for you?’” CNN quoted Manizha as saying. “(The Taliban) started beating her. My mother collapsed, and they hit her with their guns – AK47s.”
The daughter said she has pleaded with the fighters to stop.
But the fighters paused for only a moment before throwing a grenade into the next room and fleeing as the flames spread, she said.
The mother of four reportedly died from the beating.
CNN used aliases for Najia and Manizha to protect their identity for safety reasons.
The deadly July 12 attack on Najia’s home in Faryab province is seen as a preview of the threat women now face across Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of most parts of the country and the capital Kabul.
The EU, US and 18 other countries issued a joint statement on Wednesday saying they were “deeply worried about Afghan women and girls,” urging the Taliban to ensure their safety.
“We are deeply worried about Afghan women and girls, their rights to education, work and freedom of movement. We call on those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to guarantee their protection,” said the statement.
“Afghan women and girls, as all Afghan people, deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. Any form of discrimination and abuse should be prevented. We in the international community stand ready to assist them with humanitarian aid and support, to ensure that their voices can be heard.”