Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Bilqees, Afghanistan "I found my daughter's body soaked in blood"

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LOGAR, 18 June 2007 (IRIN) - On 12 June two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a crowd of female students coming out of high school in the central province of Logar. Three schoolgirls were killed and five wounded. Bilqees' 13-year-old daughter, Shukria, was one of the three killed. The bereaved mother gave IRIN an account of the day her daughter was killed.

"That morning she recited the holy Koran longer than usual and told me she wanted to drink two glasses of milk, instead of one. Before leaving she looked back several times and asked me whether I needed anything - I said 'No'.

"It was about 10am when my younger daughter burst into the house screaming 'Shukria has been martyred!'

"I do not remember how I got out of the house to inquire what had happened, but I recall I ran outside, barefoot, to find my daughter.

"On my way to the school I found Shukria's sandal, but could not find her. There were small pools of blood in front of the school gate. As I was crying and screaming somebody pointed to a parked car and said my daughter had been taken there.

"I threw myself towards the car and there in the boot I found my daughter's body soaked in blood. Her beautiful eyes were open and her right hand was clutched to her stomach where she was shot. I was told later that she was shot three times - in the stomach, heart and back.

"That afternoon she was buried in the village cemetery.

"I miss my daughter very much. Shukria was a very intelligent girl. She was always telling me about her enthusiasm to become a doctor in the future. Last year I banned my daughters from going to school after a rocket was fired at it. But Shukria insisted and made me change my mind.

"I will let my younger daughter, Zarmina, continue going to school only if it is safe for her to do so. I want my daughter to be educated and serve her country, but I do not want to lose her, too."

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