Armed assailants shot dead five female airport workers and their driver in southern Kandahar on Saturday, the latest in a string of attacks against women in Afghanistan.
Whether its bomb attacks or targeted killings or domestic violence, Afghan women have bore the brunt of years of turmoil that resulted in deteriorating security and an increase in violence in most parts of the country.
Samim Khpalwak, spokesperson for the governor of Kandahar, said the five women were in charge of searching female travellers at the Kandahar airport, and had been hired by a private security company.
"Two gunmen on motorbike followed their van and opened fire on them, killing the five women and their driver this morning," said Khpalwak.
The women had received death threats from people who disapproved of their jobs. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Afghan women have fought for their rights and made gains in education and work since the collapse of Taliban rule in 2001. However, there are growing fears that those gains could be wiped out as the security situation in the country continues to spiral out of control.