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Afghanistan conflict: Several dead in Talban firing, stampede during protest rally

Afghanistan conflict: Several killed amid firing by Taliban and stampede during rally


Afghanistan conflict: Several dead in Talban firing, stampede during protest rally

Multiple casualties have been reported from the Afghan city of Asadabad where Taliban fighters opened fire on people waving the national flag at an Independence Day rally, news agency Reuters reported sharing an eyewitness account.

The protesters waving the national flag, in some places, tore down white Taliban flags, in the first signs of popular opposition to the insurgents, the report said. It is, however, unclear whether the casualties happened directly from the firing or the subsequent stampede.

“Hundreds of people came out on the streets,” Reuters quoted a witness from the eastern city of Afghanistan as saying. “At first I was scared and didn’t want to go but when I saw one of my neighbours joined in I took out the flag I have at home.” “Several people were killed and injured in the stampede and firing by the Taliban,” he added.

Incredible scenes  are emerging from Kabul where women protesters are leading from front to raise their opposition to Taliban rule. Afghanistan celebrates its 1919 independence from British control on Aug. 19, and many took to streets to protest against the Islamist fundamentalist group.


First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who is trying to rally opposition to the Taliban, expressed support for the protests. “Salute those who carry the national flag and thus stand for dignity of the nation,” he said on Twitter. Saleh has earlier asserted that he is the country’s rightful president after President Ashraf Ghani fled as the Taliban took Kabul on Sunday.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported at least three deaths and over 12 injuries after Taliban militants opened fire on a group of protesters in the Afghan city of Jalalabad.

Videos tweeted local news agency Pajhwok Afghan News showed people carrying the national flag crossing a street. Suddenly shots ring out, followed by staccato machine gun fire. The procession stops and people start raising slogans.

“Taliban firing on protesters in Jalalabad city and beaten some video journalists,” read the caption of one of the videos.

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While Kabul has been generally calm since Taliban forces entered on Sunday, the airport has been in chaos as people rushed for a way out of the country.

Twelve people have been killed in and around the airport since then, a NATO and a Taliban official said. The deaths were caused either by gun shots or by stampedes, the Taliban official said.

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