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Taliban Gunmen Kill Seven In Afghan Courthouse Attack

The gunmen were all killed by security forces.

Taliban gunmen stormed a courthouse in eastern Afghanistan on June 5, killing a chief prosecutor and at least six others in an assault that came amid a spate of recent attacks on employees of the judiciary.

The attack on the courthouse in Puli Alim, capital of the eastern Logar Province, came as newly appointed chief prosecutor Mohammad Akram Nejat was being introduced to the public.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that 21 others, including six police officers, were injured in the deadly assault, which the Taliban claimed responsibility for.

Nesar Ahmad Abdul Rahimzai, deputy police chief of the Logar Province, said all three gunmen who carried out the June 5 assault were killed by security forces.

The provincial governor, Mohammad Halim Fedayee, was quoted by AFP as saying that the gunmen were wearing police uniforms "when they entered the court building and started shooting people."

"Unfortunately, seven people were killed, including Mohammad Akram Nejat, the newly appointed head of the court," Fedayee said.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the attack in a June 5 statement, saying that among those killed was a junior prosecutor and that those injured included three judges.

UNAMA head Nicholas Haysom said in the statement that he 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," Haysom added.

Militants have targeted judicial officials in recent weeks after six convicted insurgents -- including four Taliban members -- were executed last month.

In late May, 10 people were killed and four injured in a suicide-bomb attack on a bus carrying judicial officials from Kabul to Wardak Province.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP
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