Afghanistan: three people arrested for the murder of a prominent activist

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Afghan security forces have arrested three people linked to the assassination last month of a prominent activist at the head of an independent election observation organization, police said on Saturday.

Targeted assassinations of journalists, politicians and rights defenders have become increasingly frequent in recent months in Afghanistan, where the capital and several provinces are in the throes of increased violence.

“Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed,” Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz told reporters, without specifying when the three people were arrested or whether they were among them. of a specific group.

On December 23, Rasheed, director general of the Afghan Forum for Free and Fair Elections (Fefa), was killed along with his driver in an ambush by armed men in the south of the capital, while he was traveling to car to work.

Founded in 2004 by Nader Naderi, one of the current government negotiators in Qatar, Fefa aims to promote democracy and good governance.

His assassination has been condemned by Afghan and foreign officials.

In addition to Rasheed, a vice-governor of the province of Kabul and five journalists have notably been killed since November. These assassinations, which often take place in broad daylight, during traffic jams, especially in the capital, have sowed fear and chaos in the country.

Afghan authorities blamed the Taliban for these attacks, although the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for some.

On January 4, the US military blamed the Taliban for the first time for the series of targeted attacks targeting prominent Afghan figures.

In recent months, the capital, Kabul, and several Afghan provinces have been plagued by an upsurge in violence, despite peace talks between the Taliban and the government underway since September in Doha.

A new session of these negotiations opened on Wednesday in the capital of Qatar.

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