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Taliban Claim Killing of 7 in Afghan Province, Including New Attorney General
The newly appointed attorney general of Logar Province, just one hour into his job, was among seven people killed on Sunday when two Taliban insurgents attacked as his inauguration ceremony was ending, Afghan government officials said.
Salim Saleh, the spokesman for the governor of Logar, said the insurgents attacked the location of the ceremony in the appeals court building in Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital, at 10:30 a.m., killing the new attorney general, Akram Nejat, and four other government employees as well as two civilians. Twenty-three others were wounded.
The episode was the third court-related attack in Afghanistan in the past two weeks.
The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the Logar attack. Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the attack was revenge for the government's execution of six Taliban prisoners last month, the first such executions in years.
Ahmad Nader Naderi, a senior adviser to President Ashraf Ghani, said that Mr. Nejat was one of more than 100 new judicial officials appointed in an anticorruption drive.
The appointments were reviewed personally by Mr. Ghani, who took the news of Mr. Nejat's assassination hard, Mr. Naderi said. "Tell his family I'm very saddened," Mr. Naderi quoted the president as saying.
Mr. Naderi said that attacks on judicial workers reflected an effort by insurgents to undermine faith in the government's anticorruption drive.
The authorities in Logar said the two attackers had apparently hidden inside the courthouse the night before, and attacked from inside once the ceremony had ended, as officials were exchanging congratulations and meeting well-wishers.
Fighting went on for 90 minutes before the attackers were killed by Afghan police forces, Mr. Saleh said. The authorities had said earlier that three attackers were involved, but revised that number downward when only two bodies were found.
Last week, Taliban insurgents, dressed in burqas, attacked a courthouse in Ghazni Province, killing six people, most of them civilians. The Taliban also attacked a minibus carrying court employees in Kabul on May 25, killing 10 officials.
In a second attack on Sunday, a prominent member of the Afghan parliament, Sher Wali Wardak, was killed by a bomb planted in the electric meter box on the wall outside his home in Kabul, said Gen. Zaher Zaher, the head of the ministry of interior's criminal investigation division.
The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that killing.
[Source: By Rod Nordland, International New York Times, Kabul, 05Jun16]
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