KABUL (Dispatches) – Unidentified gunmen killed two female judges from Afghanistan’s Supreme Court on Sunday morning, police said, adding to a wave of assassinations in Kabul and other cities while government and Taliban representatives have been holding talks in Qatar.
The two judges, who have not yet been named, were killed and their driver was wounded, in an attack at around 8:30 am, police said, adding the case was being investigated by security forces.
The judges were attacked and shot dead while commuting to work in a government vehicle, Ahmad Fahim Qaweem, a spokesman for the court told AFP.
"Unfortunately, we have lost two women judges in today’s attack. Their driver is wounded,” Qaweem said on Sunday, noting that more than 200 female judges worked for the top court.
A spokesman for the Taliban said their militants were not involved.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement condemning attacks on civilians by the Taliban and other militant groups.
Ghani said "terror, horror and crime” was not a solution to Afghanistan’s problem and beseeched the Taliban to accept "a permanent ceasefire”.
Government officials, journalists, and activists have been targeted in recent months, stoking fear particularly in the capital Kabul.
The Taliban have denied involvement in some of the attacks, but have said their militants would continue to "eliminate” important government figures, though not journalists or civil society members.
Daesh, a Takfiri terror group also active in Afghanistan, has claimed responsibility for some of the targeted killings, which have surged in recent months and created fear and chaos especially in Kabul.
Afghanistan has been occupied by foreign forces since the 2001 U.S. invasion.
In an earlier development, Taliban militants’ attack on Darqad district of the northern Takhar province was repulsed and the armed group after suffering casualties fled away, provincial government spokesman Abdul Khalil Asir said Saturday.
"The Taliban militants launched massive offensive to overrun the headquarters of Darqad district at 01:00 a.m. local time today and the security forces retaliated, forcing the insurgents to flee after suffering casualties,” Asir told Xinhua.
Asir, however, didn’t provide more details.
Furthermore, Taliban militants attacked two police checkpoints in the restive province of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, killing at least nine Afghan security personnel, local officials say.
Kunduz Governor Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal told AFP on Friday that the Taliban launched the attacks against the checkpoints simultaneously overnight.
Kunduz has seen regular clashes between the militants and government forces. The province has briefly fallen to the militants twice in recent years.
Kunduz provincial council member Khaluddin Hakimi put the death toll from the latest attacks at 10, adding that 10 security personnel had also been injured.