Taliban fires flag-waving protesters
OpenLife Nigeria has reliably gathered that Taliban fighters have killed many of its citizens in Afghanistan who embarked on protests.
Some of the aggrieved citizens have carried Afghan flags as they take part in anti- Taliban protests in Jalalabad on Wednesday, August 18.
By Thursday, August 19, the protests against the Taliban’s takeover in spread to more cities on Thursday, including the capital Kabul, and a witness said several people were killed when the militants fired on a crowd in Asadabad in the eastern province of Kunar.
“Our flag, our identity,” a crowd of men and women waving black, red and green national flags shouted in Kabul, a video posted on social media showed, on the day Afghanistan celebrates independence from British control in 1919.
A witness reported gunshots near the rally, but they appeared to be Taliban firing into the air.
Marchers chanted “God is greatest”. At some protests elsewhere, media have reported people tearing down the white flag of the Taliban.
A Taliban spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Some demonstrations are small, but combined with a scramble by thousands of people to flee the country via Kabul airport they underline the challenge the Taliban will face to govern.
The Islamist movement conquered Afghanistan at lightning speed as foreign troops withdrew, surprising even its leaders and leaving them to fill power vacuums in many places.
Since seizing Kabul on Sunday, the Taliban have presented a more moderate face, saying they want peace, will not take revenge against old enemies and will respect the rights of women within the framework of Islamic law.
During their previous rule from 1996-2001, they severely restricted women’s rights, staged public executions and blew up ancient Buddhist statues.
In Asadabad, several people were killed during a rally, but it was unclear if the casualties resulted from Taliban firing or from a stampede that it triggered.
“Hundreds of people came out on the streets,” witness Mohammed Salim said. “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.”
Protests flared in the city of Jalalabad and a district of Paktia province, also both in the east.
On Wednesday, Taliban fighters fired at protesters waving flags in Jalalabad, killing three, witnesses and media reported.
“Salute those who carry the national flag and thus stand for the dignity of the nation,” First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who is trying to rally opposition to the Taliban, said on Twitter.
Saleh said on Tuesday he was the “legitimate caretaker president” in Afghanistan after President Ashraf Ghani fled.