Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 16:43 UK

Afghan anti-drugs judge is killed

By Ethirajan Anbarasan
BBC News

Taleban in opium field in south-west Afghanistan, April 2008
Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium

The leading anti-drugs judge in Afghanistan has been killed.

Judge Alim Hanif, 65 who headed the Central Narcotics Tribunal Appeals Court, was shot on his way to work in and died in a Kabul hospital.

Representatives of the court paid their respects, saying he was deeply committed to tackling the country's drugs problems.

The attack on a leading judge has sent shockwaves through the judiciary in Afghanistan.

Mr Hanif's colleagues said he was a man of integrity, who was deeply committed to his job.

He took a tough stance on drug trafficking and was not frightened to hand out stiff sentences.

It is not clear who shot him, but many believe his murder is a warning to others in the judicial system who have been trying to stamp out Afghanistan's drugs trade.

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