Two female judges have been killed by unknown gunmen in an ambush early on Sunday in Afghanistan’s capital, the attack on the Supreme Court judges took place as they were driving to work, Ahmad Fahim Qaweem, a court spokesman, said, Kabul police confirmed the attack.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack and spokesman for the Taliban armed group Zabihullah Mujahid said the group was not responsible. Violence has surged across Afghanistan in recent months despite ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and government especially in Kabul where a new trend of targeted killings aimed at high-profile figures has sown fear in the city. The latest attack comes two days after the Pentagon announced it cut American troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500, the lowest in nearly two decades, more than 200 female judges work for the country’s top court, Qaweem said. Afghanistan’s Supreme Court was a target in February 2017 when a suicide bomb in its car park killed at least 20 court employees and wounded 41.
In recent months, several prominent Afghans including politicians, journalists, activists, doctors and prosecutors have been assassinated in often brazen daytime attacks in Kabul and other cities. Afghan officials have blamed the Taliban for the attacks, a charge the militia has denied. Some of these killings have been claimed by the ISIL (ISIS) armed group. Earlier 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 & journalists must cease for peace to succeed,” Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, said.