KABUL, Afghanistan An Afghan policewoman walked into a high-security compound in Kabul on Monday and killed an American contractor with a single bullet to the chest, the first such shooting by a woman in a spate of insider attacks by Afghans against their foreign allies.
Afghan officials who provided details identified the attacker as police Sgt. Nargas, a mother of four with a clean record. The shooting was outside the police headquarters in a walled compound which houses the governor’s office, courts and a prison in the heart of the capital.
A police official said she was able to enter the compound armed because she was licensed to carry a weapon as a police officer.
The American, whose identity was not released, was a civilian adviser who worked with the NATO command. He was shot as he came out of a small shop, Kabul Governor Abdul Jabar Taqwa said.
The woman refused to explain her motive for her attack, he said.
The fact that a woman was behind the assault shocked some Afghans.
“I was very shaken when I heard the news,” said Nasrullah Sadeqizada, an independent member of Parliament. “This is the first female to carry out such an attack. It is very surprising and sad,” he added, calling for more careful screening of all candidates, male and female, for the police force.
According to NATO, some 1,400 women were serving in the Afghan police force mid-year with 350 in the army — still a very small proportion of the 350,000 in both services.
Such professions are still generally frowned upon in this conservative society but women have made significant gains in recent years, with most jobs and education opportunities open to them, at least by law if not always in practice.
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