A woman in Afghanistan has been arrested for allegedly strangling her 22-year old daughter-in-law two days ago in the village of Mahfalay, inKunduz province (map, from bbcimg.co.uk), for giving birth to a third daughter.
The two months old baby was not hurt.
Also suspected of involvement, the murdered woman’s husband has since fled.
Khanabad’s police chief, Sufi Habib, told the BBC that “the mother gave birth to a third girl two months ago. The husband and mother-in-law strangled her for giving birth to a third daughter”.
The mother-in-law, known as Wali Hazrata, tied the feet of her daughter-in-law, known as Stori, while Stori’s husband strangled her, senior officials told the BBC.
The husband is thought to be a member of an illegal armed militia, which is believed to have some political support.
According to local villagers Stori often urged her husband to lay down his arms.
“She lived in a hell not a house. But then she also asked her husband to stay home and avoid going out with these thugs,” one neighbour who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC.
Militia groups have some political support but they have often been accused of violence against women, robberies and extortion.
While in Afghanistan the birth of a boy is usually a cause for celebration, having a girl is generally seen as a burden.
And if they fail to give birth to boys, some women are abused.
This case is the latest in a series of high-profile crimes against women in the country.
This case was brought to the attention of the media by Afghan women’s rights activists.
The killing was condemned by Nadira Gya, the Director for Kunduz Women’s affairs, who said : “It was a brutal crime committed against an innocent woman.”
Stori’s murder was also condemned by local religious and tribal elders in the district, who said it was an act of ignorance, and called it a crime against Islam, humanity and women.
They also called for immediate punishment.