Afghan rights activist, 3 other women slain; 2 suspects held

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Islamabad

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the killings of a civil society activist and three other women whose bodies were found in a house in northern Afghanistan last week, a senior Taliban security official and a co-worker of the slain activist said Saturday.

The suspects confessed to luring the women to the house in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, Sayed Khosti, the spokesman of the Taliban-run Interior Ministry, said in a video statement posted on Twitter.

He did not say whether the suspects also confessed to the killings. He did not offer a motive for the killings or identify the victims.

The case is being referred to a court, he said.One of the victims was Frozan Safi, 29, according to a local cultural center where she worked.

Safi had been desperate to leave Afghanistan because she feared for her future under restrictive Taliban rule and because she wanted to join her fiance, also an activist, who fled the country previously, said Sayed Azim Sadat, director of the Zainuddin Mohammad Babar Cultural Center.

Safi left her home close to three weeks ago to meet someone who claimed he could help her get out of Afghanistan, Sadat told The Associated Press. —AP

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