By Ellaha Rasa and Salik
The Taliban member believed to be responsible for the attempted rape and murder of a teenager in Ghor province has been arrested and is in custody in a detention centre, according to the victim’s family.
The brutal attack happened last Wednesday when the perpetrator was visiting the home of Abdul Basir in the Sarband area of Firuzkoh, the capital of Ghor province, where he attacked and killed Abdul Basir’s 16-year-old daughter Zarmina.
The family identified the attacker as Abdul Qudus, a resident of Khak Akhund village and a member of the Taliban. It remains unclear which department of the Taliban’s local administration in Ghor province Qudus works for.
Zarmina’s father, Abdul Basir, told Rukhshana Media that Qudus had been visiting with his father, Kamal, and Mawlawi Zaheer. Abdul Basir had previously asked Kamal not to bring his son to their village, describing him as a “thug and disorderly person.” Kamal is a close friend of Zarmina’s grandfather, Abdul Kabir, and both families have a history of visiting each other.
On the day of the incident, Abdul Basir says that Qudus excused himself as he left the room around 7.00pm, claiming he felt unwell. Minutes later, they heard a gunshot outside. Rushing out, Abdul Basir was told by his young niece, “Qudus shot Zarmina.”
He ran to the kitchen and found Zarmina’s blood-soaked body on the floor. According to the niece who witnessed the incident, Qudus had attempted to sexually assault Zarmina but she fought back against him, and Qudus turned his gun on her, shooting her in the chest. Zarmina’s father said she was dead within minutes due to heavy bleeding.
Qudus fled the scene but was later apprehended by villagers and imprisoned in a house. He was eventually arrested by Taliban forces and has been transferred to a detention center in Firuzkoh city in the center of Ghor.
Abdul Basir says Zarmina was engaged to her cousin, a resident of Firozkoh city, and the family had been planning their imminent wedding celebration.
Videos and images of Zarina’s bloodied corpse were widely shared on social media, accompanied by the hashtag #NoToTaliban. Twitter user Hamid Safwat posted a video, stating, “This should be the beginning of the collapse of the inhumane and backward system.”
Since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, multiple reports of sexual assault by the group’s members against women and young girls in various provinces have surfaced in the media and been shared on social media.
Two months ago, a 40-year-old mother and her two daughters, aged 11 and 13, were sexually assaulted by four Taliban members in Khaneqa village in Suzma Qala district, Sarpul province. Local sources informed Rukhshana Media that the assailants were close to the Taliban governor in Sarpul province and had entered the victims’ home at night. They were hospitalized after the ordeal, having been also brutally beaten.