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Female Mayor Is 'Waiting for Taliban to Kill Her'

'There is no one to help me or my family,' says Zarifa Ghafari
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2021 4:50 PM CDT
Female Mayor Is 'Waiting for Taliban to Kill Her'
Zarifa Ghafari speaks during the 2020 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2020.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – In 2018, Zarifa Ghafari became one of Afghanistan's first female mayors—and the country's youngest mayor. Now, the 27-year-old says she is at her home in Kabul, waiting for the Taliban to kill her. "There is no one to help me or my family. I'm just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me," she told British newspaper i on Sunday as militants took control of the capital. She added, "And anyway, where would I go?" before saying she could no longer talk. Ghafari was appointed mayor of Maidan Shahr, the capital city of Wardak province by President Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country on Sunday

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Ghafari received death threats from the Taliban after taking office and as the militants gained strength, she was moved to a job in the Defense Ministry in Kabul, which was considered relatively safe, NBC reports. When the Trump administration honored her with the International Women of Courage award last year, she warned that women in Afghanistan are "always worried" because they "have not forgotten the reign of the Taliban," reports Newsweek. Ghulan Isaczai, Afghanistan’s United Nations ambassador, said Monday that Kabul residents have reported that the Taliban "have already started house-to-house searches in some neighborhoods, registering names, and looking for people in their target list," the AP reports. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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