‘Cowardly’ attack on woman negotiating with Taliban

‘Cowardly’ attack on woman negotiating with Taliban

Fawzia Koofi talks during an interview in Kabul

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Fawzia Koofi is one of the few Afghan women to have attended talks with the Taliban

An attack on one of the only women taking part in negotiations with the Taliban was a “cowardly and criminal” attempt to disrupt the Afghan peace process, the US envoy has said.

Zalmay Khalilzad said he was “relieved” that Fawzia Koofi had escaped Friday’s shooting “without serious injury”.

Ms Koofi was shot in the right arm while travelling with her sister.

The Taliban have denied they were behind the attack, which came as the two sides prepared for talks.

The militant group has previously refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government, but agreed to take part in the talks aiming to end almost two decades of conflict after reaching an agreement with the US in February.

As part of the agreement, the Afghan government had to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners. On Thursday, it began releasing the last 400 militants. Talks are expected to start in Qatar after the final prisoner is released.

But there are concerns the attack on Ms Koofi, an outspoken critic of the Taliban who was

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