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Seven killed as Taliban gunmen storm Afghan courthouse

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KABUL — Taliban gunmen have raged a court complex in a city south of Kabul, killing at least seven individuals in the insurgents’ third so-called “revenge” attack for last month’s execution of Taliban-linked prisoners.

The attack in Pul-i-Alam, capital of volatile Logar province, also left 23 prosecutors injured as they met to decide the fate of six newly arrested Taliban militants.

The head of the court Mohammad Akram Nejat was among those killed in the attack, which comes as the Taliban step up their annual spring offensive after naming a new leader late last month.

“Three gunmen wearing police uniform entered the court building and started shooting people,” the provincial governor Mohammad Halim Fedayee said.

“Unfortunately seven people were killed, including Mohammad Akram Nejat, the newly appointed head of the court.”

Hasib Stanakzai, a member of Logar’s provincial council, confirmed the death toll.

The Taliban said the attack was in retaliation for the execution of six Taliban-linked inmates in early May, part of President Ashraf Ghani’s new hardline policy against the insurgents.

“The martyrdom attack was carried out in revenge for the execution of our mujahideen,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, a politician was killed by an explosive device at his home in Kabul, though no group claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The explosive that had been planted in front of the house of lawmaker Sher Wali Wardak martyred him, injuring 11 others,” Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter.

The latest violence underscores Afghanistan’s fragile security situation as the Taliban intensify attacks against the Western-backed Government.

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AFP

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Pakistan approves Mandarin as official language

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ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani Senate has approved a motion to declare Mandarin as one of the official languages of Pakistan on Monday.

Stating that the step was necessary in view of ties between Pakistan and China, the motion said the relationaship would further deepen between the two countries and help the people connected with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor communicate easily, AbbTakk News reported.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani tweeted: “In a short span of 70 years, Pakistan has flirted with promoting four languages that were not the mother tongue of many people in the country – English, Urdu, Arabic, and now Chinese — ignoring native languages”

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Punjabi, which is widely spoken in Punjab province of Pakistan, Pashto and many other native languages have not been declared official languages of the country.

According to Dawn News, Pakistanis are more interested in learning the Chinese language than ever as they see the tides changing and expect that knowing Mandarin would mean more job opportunities in Pakistan and China.

With ANI Inputs

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