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Taliban killed Christian aid worker

Taliban gunmen killed a Christian aid worker in Kabul as she was walking to work, As she was spreading her religion.

world Updated: Oct 21, 2008 14:40 IST

Taliban gunmen killed a Christian aid worker in Kabul as she was walking to work, and the militant group said it targeted the woman because she was spreading her religion.

The dual South African-British national, who worked with handicapped Afghans, was shot to death on Monday by gunmen who drove by on a motorbike in western Kabul, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary.

The Taliban claimed responsibility.

"This woman came to Afghanistan to teach Christianity to the people of Afghanistan," militant spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told The Associated Press. "Our (leaders) issued a decree to kill this woman. On Monday morning our people killed her in Kabul."

The aid group SERVE Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises identified the woman as 34-year-old Gayle Williams. A spokeswoman for the group in Kabul denied that its workers were proselytising, which is prohibited by law in Afghanistan.

"It's not the case that they preach, not at all," said the spokeswoman, Rina van der Ende.

In a statement on its Web site, Serve described Williams as "a person who always loved the Afghans and was dedicated to serving those who are disabled."

The group describes itself as a Christian charity registered in Britain. The Web site says it has been working with Afghan refugees since 1980 in Pakistan.

"SERVE Afghanistan's purpose is to express God's love and bring hope by serving the people of Afghanistan, especially the needy, as we seek to address personal, social and environmental needs," the site says.

Last year a group of 23 South Korean aid workers from a church group were taken hostage in southern Afghanistan.