Gunmen in Kandahar on Sunday opened fire on a van on the streets, which was carrying five female airport employees and killed all of them including their male driver, said the officials.

The Afghan is trying hard to expand the horizon of opportunities for females in the workforce but the conservative customs about the roles of women in the society and security threats posed by the conflict with the Taliban are hampering the efforts of the government.

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“These five women served the women of Kandahar and the female passengers at Kandahar airport, and they were martyred today by the cowardly enemy. This is not the first time the cowardly enemy has targeted defenseless and innocent women,” Abdul Ali Shamsi, the deputy governor of the province, said.

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A spokesman for the governor of Kandahar Samim Khapalwak said that two men on motorcycle stopped the van at around 6:30 in the morning and killed those five women, who used to work as contractors for a security company in the southern Afghan city.

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The father of one of the victims, Bibi Assilah, said, “She was just 22, and she was also studying medicine at Malalai University. She was working to earn her university fees and fulfill her dreams, but the enemy of peace and humanity did not let her.”

Bibi Assilah had worked for two years.

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