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Teacher Disembowelled By Taliban For Educating Girls

Author: Kim Sengupta

Publication: The Statesman
Date: November 29, 2006
The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of
his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.
The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return
safely. But his life was over, he was part disembowelled and then torn apart with
his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to
others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls. Mr Halim was one of
four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic
point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of
fierce clashes between the Taliban and US and Afghan forces.
At the village of Qara Bagh the family of Mohammed Halim are distraught and
terrified. His cousin, Ahmed Gul, shook his head: "They killed him like an animal.
No, no. We do not kill animals like that, it would be haram." Ms Fatima Mustaq,
the director of education at Ghazni has had repeated death threats, the notorious
"night letters". Her gender, as well as her refusal to send girls home from
school, has made her a particular source of hatred for Islamist zealots. The
threats against Ms Mushtaq also extend to her husband Sayyid Abdul and their eight