Gunmen shot dead Afghan civil servants, officials say

Gunmen shot dead an Afghan government prosecutor and another civil servant on Sunday, stepping up a campaign of assassinations in southern Taliban flashpoints, officials said.

Mohammed Azim, the district prosecutor in Gereshk, Helmand province, was shot by two men on a motorbike who then escaped the scene, said local government spokesman Daud Ahmadi, blaming the killing on the Taliban. “This morning, on his way to the office, two unknown men shot him,” Daoud Ahmadi said. Azim died on his way to hospital, he added. In the neighbouring province of Kandahar, a civil servant in the provincial wing of the agriculture ministry was shot dead in a similar attack, said Ahmad Shah Roshan, director of the Kandahar agriculture department.

Afghan election officials meanwhile said Sunday that nine

parliamentarians should be removed from their posts because of election fraud allegations, an attempt to put an end to a nearly yearlong state of limbo in the legislature. The allegations surfaced immediately following the messy September 2010 vote, and peaked in June when a special court appointed by President Hamid Karzai called for the removal of 62 sitting lawmakers.

The dispute threatened to escalate into a constitutional crisis, with the courts, the president and the legislature all claiming the right to make the final ruling about the election. It also has proved a major encumbrance at a time when the international community is pushing to strengthen the Afghan government so that Kabul can take more responsibility for security and governance.

Compiled from AFP and AP by the Daily

News staff.