Afghanistan: Gunmen shoot dead two female judges | News | DW | 17.01.2021
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Afghanistan: Gunmen shoot dead two female judges

Two women judges have been killed in a shooting in Kabul as violence between the government and militants continues unabated.

Watch video 01:42

Gunmen kill two female judges in Kabul

Gunmen opened fire on a car carrying two judges in the center of the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday morning, police reported.

The two women were killed in the attack, the most recent in a spate of violence that has engulfed the country as peace negotiations between the government and the Taliban continue.

Jamshid Rasuli, spokesman for the attorney general's office, told AFP that: "They were judges working for the supreme court."

Shot down on their way to work

The attack happened as they were on their way to work, supreme court spokesman Ahmed Fahid Qawim said.

"Unfortunately, we have lost two women judges in today's attack. Their driver is wounded," he said.

There are more than 200 female judges working for the country's top court, the spokesman added.

Local newspaper Tolo News reported that eyewitnesses saw two men on a motorcycle open fire on a car killing two and injuring one.

Watch video 03:46

Killings spread fear in Afghanistan

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AP that they were not behind the killing.

Violence hampers peace negotiations

Kabul has been the epicenter for a recent trend of targeted killings by anti-government militants.

There has also been a slew of bombings and ambushes against security forces across the country.

Sunday's attack came two days after the US announced that it had reduced its military presence in the country to just 2,500 personnel, the lowest number in almost two decades.

The US withdrawal is part of a deal with the Taliban to bring them to the negotiating table.

Despite talks, officials accuse the Taliban of being behind the wave of attacks in the country. Spy chief Ahmad Zia Siraj told lawmakers earlier in the month that the militant group had been responsible for over 18,000 attacks in 2020.

Watch video 02:55

US troop withdrawal raises fears among Afghans

The Taliban has denied many of the accusations and a rival insurgent group, Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for some of the killings.

Earlier in the month US authorities in Afghanistan directly blamed the Taliban for carrying out the attacks and undermining the peace talks.

"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, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, said on Twitter.

ab/rc (AFP, dpa, AP)

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