Picture used for illustrative purposes only.
Four women, a civil society activist and three other women, have been killed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Taliban government said on Saturday.
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the killings last week, a senior Taliban security official Qari Sayed Khosti and a co-worker of the slain activist said on Saturday.
"The arrested people have admitted in initial interrogation that the women were invited to the house by them. Further investigations are under way and the case has been referred to court," Khosti said.
The suspects confessed to luring the women to the house in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, the spokesman of the Taliban-run Interior Ministry, said in a video statement posted on Twitter.
The Taliban-run Interior Ministry spokesman Qari Saeed Khosti speaks during an event. File/Twitter
A report on BBC Persian, citing civil society sources, said the four women were friends and colleagues who had hoped to travel to Mazar-i-Sharif airport for a flight out of the country.
A rights group source told AFP on condition of anonymity that the women received a call that they thought was an invitation to join an evacuation flight and were picked up by a car, only to be found dead later.
The Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan in August after a 20-year war against the former US-backed government, are a deeply conservative movement.
Taliban fighters have broken up some of the protests, and the government has threatened to arrest any journalists covering unauthorised gatherings.
But the movement's leaders have insisted that their fighters are not authorised to kill activists and have promised that any who do will be punished.
Mena Mangal was well known in Kabul circles for her work presenting shows on several television networks, before she left journalism to become a cultural advisor to parliament.
The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has sounded the death knell for women, whose lives had changed significantly in the last 20 years (‘I can’t live under them, I would rather be dead’, Aug. 22, Gulf Today).
As we debate our failures of the past and search for clues on the future, there is an urgent issue that we must reckon with. How will we, as an international community, seek to secure and safeguard women’s rights in Afghanistan?
He was arrested and legal measures were taken against him, and he was referred to the Public Prosecution.
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