Afghan police kill 8 protesters amid angry Kabul rally: MP
Afghan riot police have reportedly shot dead eight protesters amid clashes during an anti-government demonstration in Kabul two days after a huge truck bomb claimed 90 lives in a high security diplomatic area in the heart of the capital.
Some 1,000 demonstrators marched on Friday towards the site of Wednesday’s bombing at Zanbaq Square, close to the German Embassy, calling on the Afghan president to step down.
The event, however, turned violent as some demonstrators tried to cross a police cordon, prompting security forces to fire into the air to push them back.
Abdul Hafiz Mansur, an MP from Kabul, said eight protesters were killed by government security forces.
According to Afghan media, Salem Izadyar, the son of an Afghan National Assembly member, was among those shot and killed by security guards amid the scuffles.
An official at the city’s Italian-run Emergency Hospital said at least four people had been killed and “several” wounded during the clashes.
Policeman Ghulam Hazarat said four police were wounded by stone-throwing protesters.
The protesters accuse Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah of having failed to ensure security in the country. They were holding banners reading, “Ghani! Abdullah! Resign! Resign!”
“Shame on you, both the president and Abdullah,” said a protester. “Enough is enough. Every day our young soldiers and police are dying and you are trying to hold on to your positions.”
Some demonstrators also demanded the government execute the perpetrators of the bombing and those who support them.
“Our brothers and sisters were martyred in the bloody attack on Wednesday, and our leaders are doing nothing to stop this carnage,” said a civil society activist Rahila Jafari.
“We want justice; we want the perpetrators of the attack to be hanged to death,” he added.
The gathering, however, turned violent after security forces fired into the air to disperse demonstrators, who were trying to cross a police cordon near the square.
The Wednesday attack, the deadliest in Kabul since 2001, hit the city’s most secure district, which is home to the presidential palace and foreign embassies.
The Afghan intelligence said on Thursday the bombing was plotted and carried out by the Haqqani network, which is militant group allied with the Taliban. The officials said that the attack was aimed at the Embassy of Germany.
However, the Taliban, which is currently in the midst of their annual “spring offensive,” has denied any involvement in the bombing.
Two days after the massive bombing, which also wounded about 400, people were still searching for missing relatives.
Health officials have warned some victims may never be identified as their bodies were torn into pieces or burned beyond recognition.