MP killed in Kabul blast; 7 die in Taliban attack in eastern Afghanistan

(From agencies)

An Afghan parliament member Sherwali Wardak was killed in an explosion in Kabul province Sunday evening, sources have confirmed.

The gunmen were all killed by security forces

The three gunmen who attacked the courthouse in eastern Afghanistan were killed by security forces

 Sherwali Wardak

Sherwali Wardak

Lawmaker Sherwali is the brother of Farooq Wardak who is an influential political figure and former minister of education.

The incident took place in the 5th police district of Kabul city after an improvised explosive device (IED) hidden in an electric box was detonated upon Sherwali’s arrival, lawmaker Hamid Ahmadzai told Khaama press.

Sherwali, who suffered serious injuries in the explosion, died as he was being shifted to a nearby hospital.

No group including the Taliban insurgents has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Separately, Taliban gunmen stormed a court building in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing seven people, including a newly appointed chief prosecutor, the latest in a series of insurgent attacks on judicial employees, AP reports.

The attack began as the prosecutor, Akram Nejat, was addressing a ceremony to introduce him in his new position, said Nesar Ahmad Abdul Rahimzai, deputy police chief of Logar province.

A statement from the interior ministry said 21 others, including six police officers, were wounded in the attack on the courthouse in Puli Alim, the provincial capital.

The three attackers were shot dead by Afghan security forces.

The Taliban have increasingly targeted the judiciary since the government executed six convicted insurgents last month. The executions signaled a tougher approach to the Taliban after two years of failed government efforts to revive peace talks.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the attack. In a statement, it said that one of those killed was a junior prosecutor and that three judges were among the wounded.

The head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom, urged authorities to do everything in their power to ensure adequate protection of judicial officials and other civilians seeking access to judicial institutions.

“Judicial officials and other civilians can never be considered combatants and thus should not be targeted,” he said.

US journalist, translator killed

Award-winning American journalist David Gilkey and his translator were killed Sunday while traveling with an Afghan army unit that came under fire in southern Helmand province, in a sign of just how dangerous the conflict remains for the media trying to cover it.

The translator was identified as Zabihullah Tamanna, 38. Two other National Public Radio journalists traveling with Gilkey in a separate vehicle, reporter Tom Bowman and producer Monika Evstatieva, were unharmed.

NPR said the vehicle in which Gilkey, 50, and his translator were traveling was struck by shellfire near the town of Marjah.

A Taliban hotbed, the opium-rich province of Helmand is almost entirely under the control of insurgents.

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