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Taliban use gunfire to break up protests in Kabul, arrest journalists

18 9 1
07.09.2021

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban on Tuesday fired shots into the air to disperse hundreds of people who had gathered at several rallies in Kabul, the latest signs of defiance by Afghans against the hardline Islamist movement which swept to power last month.

Afghanistan’s new rulers have yet to form a government, but many in the capital are fearful of a repeat of the Taliban’s previous brutal and repressive reign between 1996 and 2001.

At least three rallies were held across Kabul in a show of resistance that would have been unthinkable during the Taliban’s last stint in power — when people were publicly executed and thieves had their hands chopped off.

“Afghan women want their country to be free. They want their country to be rebuilt. We are tired,” protester Sarah Fahim told AFP at one rally outside the Pakistani embassy, where more than 70 people, mostly women, had gathered.

“We want that all our people have normal lives. How long shall we live in this situation?” the 25-year-old said.

The crowd held up banners and chanted about their frustrations with security, free passage out of the country and alleged meddling by Pakistan — which historically has close ties with the Taliban leadership.

Pakistan, one of just three countries that recognized the last Taliban government, has long been accused of offering its leaders safe haven after they were kicked out of power by the US-led invasion of 2001.

Pakistan’s intelligence chief Faiz Hameed was in Kabul over the weekend, reportedly to be briefed by his country’s ambassador but is likely to have also met with Taliban officials.

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© The Times of Israel


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