Mina Mangal, who used to report for prominent TV station Ariana News, was killed by two unidentified men on a motorbike close to her home in eastern Kabul in a public place, police spokesman Basir Mujahid said. She had been on her way to work as an adviser to the parliament's cultural affairs commission.
Mangal, who was also an advocate for women and girls rights to education, had shared her fears of being attacked in a post on Facebook on May 3. She said she was being sent threatening messages but declared that a strong woman wasn’t afraid of death, and that she loved her country.
As a man, Im embarrassed that in the streets of my city a little girl, Mahsa, was kidnapped and killed. Another girl was beaten at the University of Kabul and this morning a well known former TV anchor and current adviser, Mina Mangal, to Parliament was shot by a bullet in public
The killing came during heightened focus on women's rights ahead of a possible exit of foreign forces from Afghanistan and potential return of the hardline Taliban to a role in government.
Already outraged at worsening security for women in the capital, some Afghans shared her picture on social media and demanded a severe punishment for the perpetrators.
"In a country where my life is in danger as a journalist, I want the government not to show appreciation for our work but to focus on how to protect us," Zalma Kharooty, an Afghan female journalist, posted on Facebook.
Afghanistan ranks near the bottom of global indices on gender equality, with forced marriages, honor killings and domestic violence prevalent nationwide, particularly in rural areas.
As U.S.-Taliban peace talks gain momentum, many women fear losing hard-earned freedoms since U.S.-backed Afghan forces overthrew the austere Taliban in 2001. During their 1996-2001 rule, the Taliban barred women from working outside their homes and required them to be accompanied by a male relative.