The Taliban knocked on her door 3 times. The fourth time, they killed her
Updated 10:19 AM ET, Wed August 18, 2021
(CNN)Najia was at home with her three young sons and daughter in a small village in northern Afghanistan when Taliban fighters knocked on their door.
Najia's daughter Manizha, 25, knew they were coming -- her mother had told her they'd done the same thing the previous three days, demanding that she cook food for up to 15 fighters.
"My mother told them, 'I am poor, how can I cook for you?'" said Manizha. "(The Taliban) started beating her. My mother collapsed, and they hit her with their guns -- AK47s."
Manizha said she yelled at the fighters to stop. They paused for a moment before throwing a grenade into the next room and fleeing as the flames spread, she said. The mother of four died from the beating.
The deadly July 12 attack on Najia's home in Faryab province was a chilling preview of the threat now facing women across Afghanistan after the Taliban's takeover of the capital Kabul. CNN is using aliases for Najia and Manizha to protect their identity for safety reasons.
In 10 days, Taliban militants captured dozens of provincial capitals left vulnerable by the withdrawal of US and allied troops.
The speed of the militants' advance caught locals off guard.
Some women said they had no time to buy a burqa to comply with Taliban rules that women should be covered up and accompanied by a male relative when they leave the house.
To Afghanistan's women, the flowing cloth represents the sudden and devastating loss of rights gained over 20 years -- the right to work, study, move and even live in peace -- that they fear will never be regained.