Friday, March 5, 2021

Two female judges at Afghan Supreme Court killed in Kabul ambush

  • Jan 17, 2021
  • Author: QT-Online
  • Number of views: 1121
  • Top News
Gunmen shot dead two female Afghan judges working for the Supreme Court during an early morning ambush in the country's capital on Sunday, as a wave of assassinations continues to rattle the nation.
Violence surged across Afghanistan in recent months despite peace talks between the Taliban and government – especially in Kabul, where a trend of high-profile figures being killed sowed fear in the city.
The latest attack comes only two days after the Pentagon announced it reduced troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500, the lowest in nearly two decades.
The attack on the judges happened as they were being driven to their office in a court vehicle, said Ahmad Fahim Qaweem, a spokesman for the Supreme Court.
"Unfortunately, we have lost two women judges in today's attack. Their driver is wounded," Qaweem told AFP.
There are more than 200 female judges working for the country's top court, he said.
Kabul police confirmed the attack.
Afghanistan's Supreme Court was a target in February 2017 when a suicide bomb ripped through a crowd of court employees, killing at least 20 and wounding 41.
In recent months, several prominent Afghans – including politicians, journalists, activists, doctors and prosecutors – were assassinated in often brazen daytime attacks in Kabul and other cities.
Afghan officials blamed the Taliban for the attacks, a charge the insurgent group denied.
Some of the killings have been claimed by ISIS.
This month the US military for the first time directly accused the Taliban of orchestrating the attacks.
"The Taliban's campaign of unclaimed attacks and targeted killings of government officials, civil society leaders and journalists must ... cease for peace to succeed," said Col Sonny Leggett, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan.
Killings have surged despite the Taliban and Afghan government engaging in peace talks in the Qatari capital of Doha.
The Taliban carried out more than 18,000 attacks in 2020, Afghanistan's spy chief Ahmad Zia Siraj told MPs this month.
The US plans to withdraw all troops from the country by May as part of a deal with the Taliban, in return for security guarantees from the insurgents and a commitment to peace talks with the Afghan government.