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Afghan Police Arrest Two Suspects In Activist’s Killing

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan police have arrested two men accused of gunning down a women's rights activist in the southern province of Kandahar, the Interior Ministry has said.

Sitara Achakzai, a rights activist and member of the Kandahar provincial council who held dual Afghan-German nationality, was shot dead on April 12. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility.

The incident garnered attention abroad, especially in Germany, where Achakzai had long lived, and in Canada, which has a contingent of troops in Kandahar as part of a NATO force.

The Afghan Interior Ministry did not identify the suspects and gave no further details about the arrests.

The slaying comes amid escalation of Taliban attacks in recent years, the bloodiest period in Afghanistan since U.S.-backed Afghan forces drove the Islamist militia from Kabul in 2001.

On April 13, a couple who had eloped was publicly executed by a group of pro-Taliban clerics in the southwestern province of Nimroz, a provincial official said.

The Taliban have killed scores of pro-government officials as part of their campaign to drive out foreign forces stationed in the country.