Afghanistan’s first female film director who has suffered years of death threats is shot minutes away from her home


Afghanistan’s first female film director has been shot and wounded in Kabul by three gunmen who opened fire on her car.

Saba Sahar, a trailblazing actress, director, police officer and women’s rights activist, was targeted on Tuesday, with the attack happening five minutes from her house.

Her husband, Emal Zaki, told the BBC that she was one of five people in the vehicle, including the driver, two bodyguards and a child.

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It was not clear if the child was one of Sahar’s children.

‘I reached the scene and found them all wounded,’ Zaki told the BBC, adding that it happened so close to home, he could hear the gunshots.

Afghanistan’s Tolo News published photos of the gold SUV she was traveling in, its windows shielded by curtains, but now shattered by bullets.

‘She received first aid and we transferred her to the emergency hospital and then to the police hospital.’

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Zaki said that Sahar was shot in the stomach and was able to answer the phone when he called her. He said she later underwent a successful surgery.


Sabar was well known in Afghanistan following the huge success of her first film, The Law, released in 2004.

The British embassy in Afghanistan tweeted: ‘Condemn this cowardly attack on a brave Afghan woman. Wishing Saba Sahar a full recovery.’

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Markus Potzel, Germany’s envoy to Afghanistan, tweeted: ‘Another courageous female member of the AFG society was attacked today.

‘Perpetrators must be investigated&held accountable. Wishing speedy recovery to #sabasahar & all the injured. #stoptheviolence’.

Sahar has faced death threats for decades, owing to her high-profile work in the deeply traditional and male-dominated country.


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