Female Afghan politician Hanifa Safi killed

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A prominent female Afghan politician has been killed in a bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan, officials say.

Hanifa Safi died after a bomb attached to her car exploded as she left her home in Laghman province. Her husband and daughter were injured.

As the provincial head of the Afghan ministry of women's affairs, Mrs Safi had for years been a leading advocate of fair treatment for women.

She had been known locally for going out without her head covered.

That was against the conservative interpretation of Islam practised by many in Afghanistan, and might have brought her to the attention of the Taliban, the BBC's David Loyn in Kabul reports.

However, no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

The killing of Mrs Safi is a reminder of the perilous life lived by so many Afghan women, and comes only a week after video emerged of the killing of a woman said to have run away from her husband, our correspondent says.

Government officials are frequently targeted by militants in Afghanistan, but it is much less usual for female officials to be killed.

In 2006, Safia Ama Jan, who headed the Kandahar department of women's affairs, was shot dead by Taliban attackers.

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