It’s an awful story for a number of reasons — most of which the Times goes into: Covering Afghan Vote, Until Shot by an Ally – NYTimes.com.
But although all news about this case names the two women (one of whom was a reporter and who was shot but not killed), no news I’ve seen states what to me is obvious: the Afghan shooter, a cop, fired deliberately at two women. Because they were women.
Here’s how the Times describes the act:
KABUL, Afghanistan — For the two seasoned war correspondents, it was not an unusually risky trip. Getting out to see Afghanistan up close was what Anja Niedringhaus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for The Associated Press, and Kathy Gannon, a veteran reporter for the news agency, did best.
The eastern province of Khost, where Ms. Niedringhaus and Ms. Gannon traveled to cover Afghanistan’s presidential election on Saturday, is considered dangerous, still plagued by regular Taliban attacks. But they had carefully plotted their trip, arranging to move beyond the relatively safe confines of the provincial capital under the protection of Afghan Army troops and the police.
Yet it was those precautions that proved fatal for Ms. Niedringhaus on Friday morning. As she and Ms. Gannon waited outside a government compound, a police commander walked up to their idling car, looked in at the two women in the back seat, and then shouted “Allahu akbar!” — God is great — and opened fire with an AK-47, witnesses and The Associated Press said. [My emphasis]
It seems as if the label “Taliban=Danger” is not correct. Any woman in a country dominated by fundamentalist religion — even, in a horrible irony, during a national “democratic” election — is in danger, for being a female acting outside the severely limited role women are permitted by the religion.