Gunmen assassinate 2 Afghan Supreme Court judges in Kabul ambush, Ghani blames Taliban

Gunmen shot dead 2 Afghan ladies judges working for the Supreme Court in a morning ambush in the nation’s capital Sunday, authorities stated, as a wave of assassinations continues to rattle the country.

Violence has actually risen throughout Afghanistan in current months in spite of continuous peace talks in between the Taliban and federal government– particularly in Kabul, where a brand-new pattern of targeted killings focused on prominent figures has actually planted worry in the restive city.

The newest attack, which President Ashraf Ghani blamed on the Taliban, comes simply 2 days after the Pentagon revealed it had actually cut troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500, the least in almost twenty years.

The attack on the judges took place as they were driving to their workplace in a court lorry, stated Ahmad Fahim Qaweem, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court.

“Unfortunately, we have lost two women judges in today’s attack. Their driver is wounded,” Qaweem informed AFP.

There are more than 200 female judges working for the nation’s leading court, the representative included.

Kabul authorities verified the attack.

Afghanistan’s Supreme Court was a target in February 2017 when a suicide bomb ripped through a crowd of court workers, eliminating a minimum of 20 and injuring 41.

Ghani blamed the Taliban for Sunday’s murders, implicating them of releasing an “illegitimate war and hostility”.

“The government once again reiterates its call on the Taliban that violence, terror, brutality and crimes… will only prolong the war in the country,” he stated in a declaration provided by the governmental palace.

“They (Taliban in order to show their real intent (for peace should accept a permanent ceasefire.”

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– ‘Appalling attack’ –

The leading British envoy to Kabul, Alison Blake, condemned the “appalling targeted attack” on the judges.

“We condemn this and all attacks on civilians and call for an urgent investigation into those responsible,” she stated on Twitter.

In current months, numerous popular Afghans– consisting of political leaders, reporters, activists, medical professionals and district attorneys– have actually been assassinated in typically brazen daytime attacks in Kabul and other cities.

Many reporters and activists have actually left the nation, fretted they may the next targets.

Afghan authorities have actually steadfastly blamed the Taliban for the assassinations, a charge the insurgent group has actually rejected.

Some of these killings have actually been declared by the competing jihadist Islamic State group.

Earlier this month the United States armed force for the very first time straight implicated the Taliban of managing the attacks.

“The Taliban’s campaign of unclaimed attacks and targeted killings of government officials, civil society leaders & journalists must… cease for peace to succeed,” Colonel Sonny Leggett, the representative for United States forces in Afghanistan, stated on Twitter.

The targeted killings have actually risen in spite of the Taliban and Afghan federal government taking part in peace talks in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Afghan federal government mediators participated in peace talks with their Taliban equivalents are promoting a long-term ceasefire as part of the program for the talks, however the insurgents up until now have actually dismissed the calls for any kind of truce.

The Taliban performed more than 18,000 attacks in 2020, Afghanistan’s spy chief Ahmad Zia Siraj informed legislators previously this month.

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On Friday, the Pentagon revealed it had actually cut troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500 as part of its handle the Taliban to withdraw all soldiers from the nation by May 2021.

That offer was struck in return for security assurances from the insurgents and a dedication to peace talks with the Afghan federal government.

Gunmen assassinate 2 Afghan Supreme Court judges in Kabul ambush, Ghani blames Taliban