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Afghan lawmaker killed in Kabul bombing

A member of Afghanistan's parliament has been killed in a roadside explosion in the capital, Kabul. The attack came hours after Taliban insurgents gunned down several people in a courthouse in the country's east.

Afghan member of parliament Sher Wali Wardak died after an improvised device exploded in front of his Kabul residence late on Sunday, the interior ministry said. The explosives were reportedly hidden inside an electrical box and went off as Wardak left the house.

"It could either have been a bomb on a timer or one that was remotely detonated," ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said, adding that 11 people were wounded in the incident.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.

Courthouse attack

The bombing came hours after Taliban gunmen stormed a court building in eastern Logar province, killing at least seven people, including a newly appointed chief prosecutor.

"Three gunmen wearing police uniform entered the court building and started shooting people," provincial governor Mohammad Halim Fedayee told Agence France Presse.

A statement from the interior ministry said 21 others were injured in the attack. The three militants were shot dead by Afghan security forces.

The Taliban said on Twitter the assault was in retaliation for the hanging last month of six Taliban prisoners who were convicted of terrorism.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan condemned the courthouse attack, urging authorities to "do everything in their power to ensure adequate protection of judicial officials and other civilians seeking access to judicial institutions."

Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks on the judiciary and government officials. At the same time, President Ashraf Ghani has sought to crackdown on the militants and reverse the considerable gains they have made in the country since the departure of most foreign combat troops at the end of 2014.

nm/rc (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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