Two women judges were shot dead and several others were wounded by unidentified gunmen in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul Sunday morning, the latest in a recent wave of violence that has gripped the country as the government continues to engage in peace talks with the Taliban.
The gunmen opened fire on the two women, who were judges in Afghanistan’s Supreme Court, as they were travelling to their office in a court vehicle, Ahmad Fahim Qaweem, a court spokesman, told AFP. The driver of the car was also wounded in the attack, local newspaper Tolo News reported.
“Unfortunately we have lost two women judges in today’s attack. Their driver is wounded,” Qaweem said. “The vehicle was transporting the women judges to their office.” The two victims were among over 200 female judges working in the country’s top court, AFP reported.
Eyewitnesses allegedly saw two men on a motorcycle pull up to their vehicle and open fire, the Tolo News report stated. But no group has claimed responsibility for the attack as yet. Taliban spokesperson Sabihullah Mujahid told AP that they were not behind the killing.
The city has witnessed a surge of targeted high profile killings by anti-government militants over the last few months. There have also been a number of bombings and ambushes in other parts of the country recently, AP reported.
The attack on Sunday morning came merely two days after the United States announced that it had scaled down its military presence in the country to just 2,500 personnel, the lowest in nearly two decades. The withdrawal of soldiers by the US is part of a deal with the Taliban to negotiate a possible peace agreement, according to AP.
But officials have blamed the Taliban for the recent wave of attacks in the country. Earlier this month, Spy chief Ahmad Zia Siraj told lawmakers the militant group had been responsible for over 18,000 attacks in 2020. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for some of the killings.