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Northern Ireland judiciary expresses horror at murder of two judges in Afghanistan


Afghan police stand guard at a checkpoint (Rahmat Gul/AP)

Afghan police stand guard at a checkpoint (Rahmat Gul/AP)

AP/PA Images

Afghan police stand guard at a checkpoint (Rahmat Gul/AP)

The judiciary in Northern Ireland has expressed its horror at the “dastardly” killing of two judges in Afghanistan.

On Sunday gunmen fired on a car in northern Kabul, killing the two women who worked for the country’s high court and wounding the driver.

In a statement yesterday, the judiciary here spoke of its shock at the murders,

It said: “On January 17 two female judges of the Afghanistan Supreme Court were murdered in Kabul.

“This was another attack in a series of continuing and murderous attacks on the system of justice in Afghanistan. But it was also a truly dreadful and dastardly attack on female members of an independent judiciary.

“This was an attack against not only the rule of law but also against Afghan women and their right to contribute to the system of justice in Afghanistan.

“The members of the Northern Ireland Judiciary offer their most sincere condolences to the families and friends of the judges who were so cruelly murdered and also to their colleagues who seek to maintain the rule of law and the independence of their judiciary in difficult and trying circumstances.”

The judges’ murder was the latest attack in the Afghan capital during peace talks between Taliban and Afghan government officials in Qatar.

Supreme Court of Afghanistan spokesman Ahmad Fahim Qawim said the women were judges who worked for the high court but he did not identify them by name.

No one claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group was not responsible.

The Afghan government has repeatedly blamed the Taliban for targeted killings in recent months and the insurgent group accuses the government of staging the killings to spoil the peace process.

The so-called Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in the capital in recent months, including on educational institutions that killed 50 people, most of them students.

IS has also claimed responsibility for rocket attacks in December targeting the major US base in Afghanistan. There were no casualties.

The Taliban and the Afghan government earlier this month resumed peace talks in Qatar.

Negotiations were off to a slow start as the insurgent group continues attacks on Afghan government forces while keeping their promise not to attack US and Nato troops.

Belfast Telegraph