Female Afghan former journalist shot dead in Kabul

A prominent TV presenter and government advisor has been gunned down in broad daylight in a drive-by shooting in Afghanistan.

Mena Mangal was slain on her way to work at 7.30am on Saturday in Kabul by two assassins on a motorbike. 

The vocal women’s rights activist, who worked as a journalist before entering politics, said she believed her life was in danger just days before her death. 

Ms Mangal had posted on Facebook revealing she’d received threats and feared for her life, human rights lawyer Wazhma Frogh said on Twitter. 

‘This woman had already shared that her life was in danger. Why did nothing happen? We need answers,’ Frogh wrote.  

Ms Mangal was a prominent TV presenter who’d worked for Tolo TV, the largest private broadcaster in Afghanistan, as well as Shamshad and Lemar television stations. 

She’d recently left her job to become a cultural advisor to the lower chamber of Afghanistan’s national parliament. 

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Mangal’s death, and it was not immediately known why she had been targeted.

Police said one line of inquiry was a family dispute.  Afghanistan has seen a spike in female assassinations over the past 20 years of war. 

Many of the victims have been targeted for speaking out about women’s rights.  

The plight of women in Afghanistan has been pulled into focus in recent months, as many in the war-torn country worry that hard-won rights for women will be lost if the US makes a peace deal with the Taliban.

Despite advances since the Taliban’s ouster in 2001, women in Afghanistan are still frequently marginalized.

Afghanistan is also the world’s deadliest place for journalists, who face many risks covering the conflict and who have sometimes been targeted for doing their job.

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