Afghan Peace Negotiator Survives Assassination Attempt

August 17, 2020Coffee or Die
Fowzia Koofi, Paliamentarian, during a meeting of Afghan civil society leaders at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, October 20, 2011. S.K. Vemmer/Department of State

Fowzia Koofi, Paliamentarian, during a meeting of Afghan civil society leaders at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, October 20, 2011. S.K. Vemmer/Department of State

This article was originally published Aug. 16, 2020, on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Afghan officials say a member of the government’s team tasked with negotiating with the Taliban has survived an assassination attempt.

A vehicle carrying Fawzia Koofi, a lawmaker and women’s rights activist, was attacked by gunmen late on August 14 along a highway in the Qarabagh district of Kabul Province, said Masoom Stanekzai, Kabul’s chief peace negotiator.

Stanekzai said Koofi sustained minor injuries, but that “she is in good condition and there is nothing to worry about.”

Koofi, a vocal critic of the Taliban, is part of the government’s 21-member team that will lead talks with the militants.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although similar incidents in the past have been blamed on the Taliban.

Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, a body tasked with leading peace negotiations with the Taliban, on August 15 “strongly condemned the assassination attempt” on Koofi.

Fowzia Koofi (third from left) was one of several female Afghan civil society leaders that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 20, 2011. U.S State Department photo by S.K. Vemmer

Abdullah called on the government to “identify and apprehend the culprits and possible motive for the attack.”

The incident came as the Afghan government and the Taliban prepare to launch long-delayed peace talks in Qatar, where the militant group has a political office.

The intra-Afghan talks could start as early as next week.

The breakthrough came after President Ashraf Ghani said he would release 400 Taliban militants, the final part of a major prisoner swap.

The government on August 14 released the first batch of militants, many of whom have been convicted of deadly attacks on Afghans and foreigners.

A deal between the Taliban and the United States signed in February called for Kabul to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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Coffee or Die is Black Rifle Coffee Company’s online lifestyle magazine. Launched in June 2018, the magazine covers a variety of topics that generally focus on the people, places, or things that are interesting, entertaining, or informative to America’s coffee drinkers — often going to dangerous or austere locations to report those stories.

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