Taliban say woman was slain for trying to spread Christianity

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The Taliban say they killed a Christian aid worker in Afghanistan because she was trying to spread her religion.

But the aid group that she worked for denies that its workers were proselytizing, which is against the law in Afghanistan.

The group, called Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises, or SERVE, identifies the woman as 34-year-old Gayle Williams. It says she had dual British and South African citizenship.

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

Taliban gunmen killed her as she walked to work today in Kabul. A militant spokesman says Taliban leaders "issued a decree to kill this woman."

Today's attack adds to a growing sense of insecurity in Kabul. The city is now blanketed with police checkpoints. Attacks against Westerners in Kabul and surrounding provinces have increased recently.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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