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Probe ordered into killing of Afghan student

December 06, 2012|By David Zucchino
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai, shown in an October photo, has asked a special commission investigating the death of a woman volunteering with a vaccination program to report to him within four days.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, shown in an October photo, has asked a special… (Anja Niedringhaus / Associated…)

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday ordered a top-level investigation into the killing of an Afghan student who had volunteered to assist with polio vaccinations in villages in the northern province of Kapisa.

Karzai appointed a commission of five high-ranking government officials in Kabul to probe the death of the woman identified as Hanisa, 22, a 12th-grader who was shot by gunmen riding two motorcycles as she reported to work on her first day as a vaccination volunteer Saturday morning.

No one has claimed responsibility for the killing, one in a series of recent attacks on Afghan women. The Taliban has condemned vaccination programs in Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan, saying they are covers for Western spying and domination.

According to police and health officials in Kapisa, a province just north of Kabul, Hanisa was from a progressive family that supported her desire to educate herself and work outside the home. They said the family did not object when Hanisa volunteered for the local health department’s vaccination program, in which workers travel the countryside to administer vaccines to children in rural areas.

A government statement said Karzai asked the commission to report to him within four days on the circumstances of the girl’s death.

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