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“My eyes had been taken from me”; Woman shot and blinded for getting a job

Kabul: Three men on a motorcycle attacked a 33-year-old woman just after she left her job at a police station in Afghanistan’s central Ghazni province, shooting at her and stabbing her with a knife in the eyes.

When she waked up in a hospital, everything was dark for her.  “I asked the doctors, why I can’t see anything? They told me that my eyes are still bandaged because of the wounds. But at that moment, I knew my eyes had been taken from me,” she said. She and local authorities blame the attack on Taliban terrorists, who deny involvement and say the assailants acted on a tip-off from her father who vehemently opposed her working outside the home.  The attack caused not just the loss of her sight but the loss of a dream she had battled to achieve to have an independent career. She joined the Ghazni police as an officer in its crime branch a few months ago. “I wish I had served in police at least a year. If this had happened to me after that, it would have been less painful. It happened too soon … I only got to work and live my dream for three months,” she told.

Khatera’s dream as a child was to work outside the home and after years of trying to convince her father, to no avail, she was able to find support from her husband. But her father, she said, did not give up on his opposition. “Many times, as I went to duty, I saw my father following me … he started contacting the Taliban in the nearby area and asked them to prevent me from going to my job,” she said. Ghazni’s police spokesman confirmed they believed the Taliban were behind the attack and that Khatera’s father had been taken into custody. Reuters was unable to reach him directly for comment.

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