Gunmen Kill Two Female Supreme Court Judges in Afghanistan

Armed gunmen killed two female Supreme Court judges in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul on Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani confirmed in a statement.

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a vehicle in Kabul on January 17 around 8:30 am killing two judges and wounding two others — the driver and another woman — police in the capital said. The wounded woman is believed to be an employee of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education, according to Tolo News on Sunday.

Afghanistan’s Presidential Palace (Arg) issued a press release on January 17 addressing the incident.

“[A]ttacks by the Taliban and other terrorist groups against defenseless people are against Islamic teaching and against the spirit of peace and means illegal war and hostility against the people that could undermine the national consensus of the people on peace,” Ghani said in the statement.

“The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan reiterates its call on the Taliban that violence, terror, brutality, and crime are not the solutions to the problem, and that the ongoing crisis and war in the country is intensifying and prolonging the peace process,” the statement further read.

No group, including the Taliban, had announced responsibility for the attack at press time Monday.

Tolo News later identified the two slain judges as Qadria Yasini, 53, and Zakia Herawi, 34.

“They both worked at the studies directorate of the Supreme Court for over 10 years,” according to the news outlet.

Herawi was the sole breadwinner in her family, Herawi’s mother, Zia Gul, told Tolo News.

“We call on the government to wake up. The country is in shock, the nation is in shock,” Gul said.

“No one is there to take care of us in this land. There is no law, no justice, nothing,” Herawi’s sister, Farzana, told the news site.

The Taliban has continued to carry out violent and deadly attacks on Afghan security forces in recent months despite its participation in ongoing peace talks with Afghanistan’s government. The terror group refuses to accept the Afghan federal government’s rule over the country as legitimate. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration brokered the start of peace negotiations between the Taliban and Kabul last fall. Despite hints of progress, the talks have repeatedly stalled. Ongoing since September 12 in Doha, Qatar, the peace process pressed forward this month.

“Negotiating teams representing the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents held a preparatory meeting on Wednesday [January 6] in the Qatari capital Doha, with talks on a peacemaking agenda to begin on Saturday [January 9], both sides said,” according to Reuters. “The negotiating teams met following a three-week break after striking an initial procedural deal in December, and are expected to cover contentious issues such as power-sharing and a ceasefire in this round of talks.”

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