Flag-waving protesters took to the streets of several Afghan cities today as opposition to the Taliban spread, and a witness said several people were killed when the terrorists fired into a crowd.
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“Our flag, our identity,” a crowd of men and some women waving black, red and green national flags in the capital Kabul shouted a video clip posted to social media on the day Afghanistan declared its 1919 independence from the United States. British control celebrates.
The Taliban have given the world a moderate face since they entered Kabul on Sunday, saying they want peace, will not retaliate against old enemies and will respect women’s rights within the framework of Islamic law.
How the Taliban are handling the protests, including people who take down white Taliban flags, could determine whether people trust their assurances that they have changed since their rule in 1996-2001, when they severely restricted women, according to the media. public executions and blew up ancient Buddhist statues.
Several people were killed during a demonstration in Asadabad, the capital of the eastern province of Kunar, but it was not clear whether the casualties were the result of the Taliban shooting or a stampede it caused, witness Mohammed Salim said.
Protesters also took to the streets of the city of Jalalabad and a district of Paktia province, both also in the east. On Wednesday, Taliban fighters fired at demonstrators waving flags in Jalalabad, killing three, witnesses and media reported. The media reported similar scenes in Asadabad and another eastern city, Khost, on Wednesday.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who is trying to mobilize opposition to the Taliban, expressed support for the protests. “Greet those who carry the national flag and thus stand for the dignity of the nation,” he said on Twitter. Saleh said on Tuesday he was in Afghanistan and served as the “legitimate interim president” after President Ashraf Ghani fled when the Taliban took Kabul on Sunday.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Amad Massoud, leader of Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front, based in the old anti-Taliban stronghold of the Panjshir Valley, northeast of Kabul, called for Western support to fight the Taliban.
Although Kabul has been generally calm since the Taliban entered on Sunday, chaos reigned at the airport as people rushed for a way out of the country. Twelve people have been killed in and around the airport since then, according to NATO and the Taliban. The deaths were caused by gunfire or stampedes, the Taliban said.
On Wednesday, witnesses said the Taliban prevented people from entering the airport complex. The Taliban said soldiers fired into the air to disperse the crowd. Gunmen released sustained fire into the air at several airport entrances on Thursday, causing the crowd, including women holding babies, to disperse. It was not clear whether the men who shot were Taliban or security personnel who helped US troops in.
The United States and other Western powers continued to evacuate their nationals and some of their Afghan employees from the capital’s airport, from which about 8,000 people have flown out since Sunday, a Western security official said.