Protests rise: Taliban kills 3 in Jalalabad for unfurling Afghan national flag

Kunar and Khost cities also reported demonstrations by people opposing the Taliban, who seem worried by the turn of events

People in Jalalabad city of Afghanistan unfurl the country's national flag. Pic: Twitter

At least three people were killed and 12 wounded after armed militants fired at protesters in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad on Wednesday (August 18).

Witnesses say the incident happened when some residents of Jalalabad, located about 115 km from Kabul, tried to unfurl Afghanistan’s national flag at Pashtunistan Square in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Besides Jalalabad, Kunar and Khost cities also reported demonstrations by people opposing the Taliban.

The militants allegedly lost their cool after the black and white flag of the Taliban was removed to replace it with Afghanistan’s national flag. A video grab showed multiple shots being fired in a crowded market as people ran for safety. Al Jazeera reported that some Taliban fighters then charged at the protesters with batons.

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Yet another video shows protesters waving the national flag while others clapped for them.

Also read: UK announces plan to admit 20,000 Afghans fleeing Taliban regime

The Taliban has not yet issued a statement on the firing incident in Jalalabad. Therefore, it is not confirmed if the militants carrying guns were indeed Taliban fighters.

The BBC, however, confirmed that the Taliban is indeed worried about the increasing number of protests but said it is not confirmed yet if such incidents are happening across Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, top Taliban commander Anas Haqqani met former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to find an amicable solution to the Afghan crisis.

Meanwhile, chaos returned at the Kabul airport, a day after US forces claimed they have regained control and flights rescuing foreign nationals began. European countries were struggling to get their nationals out of the war-ravaged country. The BCC reported that French, Dutch, German and Czech planes have all left Kabul in recent hours.

About a dozen countries led by the US and UK issued a joint statement expressing deep concern about the future of Afghan women and girls.

Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government will judge the Taliban on their actions and not statements. “We will judge this regime based on the choices it makes and by its actions rather than by its words, on its attitudes to terrorism, to crime and narcotics, as well as humanitarian access and the rights of girls to receive an education,” Johnson said in the parliament.

 

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