By ITV News Multimedia Producer Narbeh Minassian
A young student who escaped with her life as the Taliban opened fire at her “dream home” says there is no peaceful future for women in Afghanistan.
The student was inside when the insurgent forces started shooting at her house, where she had only recently settled down with the husband she married a year ago.
It was not immediately clear why they were targeted, but the graphic design student, 20, says this is the kind of terror her country can now expect.
Speaking from a location in Afghanistan, the student, whose identity we are not revealing, told ITV News: “They destroyed our dream home.”
A video recorded after the shooting – seen by ITV News – shows broken windows, bullet holes in the walls, and scattered pieces of furniture around the house.
She said they have not gone back to their home since then.
“We could not return to that house because of the bad things that happened to us,” she said.
“We feel like displaced people and could not find a new place.”
The couple lived in one of the regions to fall to the Taliban in recent weeks after a blistering advance by the insurgents saw them make huge gains across the country.
In the absence of foreign forces, the capital Kabul was taken on Sunday – and the Taliban were quick to make promises of change and even suggest women may enjoy at least some level of freedom.
Few have any faith these promises will materialise; and the student says women above all will not forget the Taliban’s crimes.
“I have been an independent and free woman, I learned to value myself, to read books, to exercise and to spend time with friends,” she said.
“But after they conquered my city, I can hardly leave home and the future of my education and work is completely uncertain.”
The student, who has been studying and holding down a job at the same time, says “with absolute certainty” the Taliban will continue “all kinds of violence against women.”
Already, they have kidnapped a young poet from her hometown for criticising Taliban rule, she says.
And it’s left her friends, family and community in fear.
“Just seeing their scary faces makes us feel bad, we are afraid to leave the house - atrocities they have committed before will never be forgotten,” she said.
“People talk about change but even in the last month they have continued crimes. As a woman, it is very difficult to see.”
The student has spent almost all of her life free from the Taliban’s terror and from her teenage years grew an interest in art, which she studied at university.
She wanted to pursue her career as a graphic designer, but now she just wants an escape from her country.
“Unfortunately, we would be satisfied with anywhere but here,” she said, before adding she doesn’t believe protests against the Taliban will lead to any change.
“Some countries said they would accept immigrants, but we have not yet been able to apply.
“We have little hope of being accepted.”