Afghan targeted killings on rise as judge fatally shot in Jalalabad

By Salaam Times and AFP

Firefighters wash the site of a bombing in Kabul February 2. Two people were killed as Kabul was rocked by a series of rush-hour car bombs that day. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

Firefighters wash the site of a bombing in Kabul February 2. Two people were killed as Kabul was rocked by a series of rush-hour car bombs that day. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

JALALABAD -- An Afghan judge was fatally shot in an ambush in Jalalabad Wednesday (February 3), police said, the third court official killed in less than a month.

Judge Hafizullah was attacked as he headed to work in a motor trishaw, said Farid Khan, a spokesman for Nangarhar police.

Nobody claimed responsibility.

The murder of Hafizullah, who like many Afghans used just one name, comes after militants fatally shot two female judges working for the Supreme Court in Kabul on January 17.

Targeted killings with remotely detonated bombs attached to vehicles, or drive-by shootings, have become favoured tactics of insurgents, especially during the morning commute in big cities.

A growing number of prominent Afghans -- including judges, clerics, journalists, activists and doctors -- have been assassinated in often brazen daytime attacks.

Through targeted killings, the Taliban seek to create social chaos, gain leverage at the negotiating table, weaken the media and silence the voice of critics, Afghan authorities and analysts say.

3 deaths in 1 day

A cleric was among three Afghans killed in terrorist violence Tuesday.

Mohammad Atif, a cleric from a Kabul-based charity group, was among two people killed when a bomb targeting their vehicle exploded in a central district of the capital, officials said.

Two other civilians were injured, said Kabul police spokesman Ferdows Faramarz.

The murder of Atif was claimed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).

A policeman was killed and two others wounded when a bomb targeting their vehicle exploded in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, Tuesday.

A bomb hitting an Interior Affairs Ministry vehicle on Tuesday wounded two security personnel in Kabul, and another person was wounded in a separate blast in the capital.

Yet another bomb targeting the vehicle of a lawmaker exploded later on Tuesday in Kabul, wounding two Afghans. The lawmaker was not travelling in the car at the time.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for Tuesday's other bombings.

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Finally, we did not understand that how, where and by whom are these groups formed? Although we have not understood for years and centuries and now we will also not understand. After all, whoever formed these groups and wherever they are formed, they are not to blame but we ourselves are to blame, because we are very weak in terms of reason and logic. Regarding the target killings, I must say that our government is so corrupt that it has no limits. Believe me that a person committing a crime should be punished with imprisonment, but the judiciary power only looks for a person whose name only matches with the name of the criminal and sends him to prison instead. So how do we expect that our judge or prosecutor should not be assassinated? To whom should the same innocent person take his petition? Eventually, he is forced to take action to empty his heart. If people have a suit or petition, they take it from the city to Taliban in the districts so that they settle it based on God and Messenger’s law. There will be chaos everywhere in the world unless there are rewards and punishments.