KABUL, Afghanistan

Four intelligence officials, a university lecturer, and a civil servant were gunned down in targeted attacks in Afghanistan’s capital on Saturday.

Police in Kabul said four officers of the National Directorate of Security, the country’s main spy agency, were shot dead by unknown assailants in the Paghman area during the morning rush hour.

Rafi Usmani, a lecturer at a private university, was gunned down in the capital’s Rishkor neighborhood, while a civilian public servant identified as Baryalay Tokhi was shot dead in Kabul’s Wazir Abad locality.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Violence has escalated in Afghanistan as the peace process has stalled in recent months.

Such targeted attacks and land mine blasts have increased in frequency, particularly in the country’s south.

In the past 24 hours alone, at least nine civilians and two senior police officers were killed in land mine blasts in Kandahar, Nangarhar, and Ghazni provinces.

According to a report by local broadcaster Tolo News, 44 civilians and 81 security personnel have been killed in separate incidents and Taliban attacks across Afghanistan since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 13.

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