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Several Killed After Taliban Fire On Protesters In Afghan City: Report

Protesters in Asadabad were allegedly flying the national flag after ripping down the Taliban's white banners in the first evidence of popular hostility to the terrorists.

Despite promises of peace in Afghanistan, the Taliban opened fire on protestors carrying the national flag in the city of Asadabad on Thursday, causing a stampede that killed many, according to news agency Reuters. Protesters in Asadabad were allegedly flying the national flag after ripping down the Taliban's white banners in the first evidence of popular hostility to the terrorists. It is unclear if the casualties were caused directly by the shooting or by the subsequent stampede.

Hundreds of people poured into the streets, according to Reuters, citing a witness named Mohammed Salim. "At first, I was terrified and reluctant to participate, but when one of my neighbours did, I grabbed my house flag."

"Several people were murdered and injured as a result of the Taliban's stampede and firing," the witness from Kunar province's capital claimed.

The Taliban has yet to make a statement about the incident.


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Similar protests were recorded in the eastern city of Jalalabad and a portion of Paktia province, although no severe violence was reported. Armed men thought to be Taliban members opened fire on a crowd in Jalalabad after the Taliban flag was removed and replaced with the previous Afghan government's black, red, and green flag.

Gunmen opened fire on a throng of protestors in Afghanistan's Jalalabad on Wednesday, killing three people and injuring another 12. The clash took place in Pashtunistan Square in Jalalabad, roughly 115 kilometres east of Kabul, in the eastern city of Jalalabad. According to initial accounts, citizens pulled a Taliban flag from one of the city's roundabouts, which had been erected in place of the former Afghan government's black, red, and green flag.

Multiple shots were fired on a packed street as villagers rushed for their lives, according to one footage from the incident in Jalalabad. According to Al Jazeera, the armed men who opened fire were Taliban members who were later seen storming at the crowd with batons.

Jalalabad is also the site of the annual August 19 commemoration of the British recognition of Afghan independence in 1919.

The Taliban have yet to say if the individuals who opened fire on the gathering in Jalalabad were Taliban militants.

Similar demonstrations against the removal of the Afghan flag have also been reported in Daronta plaza, near Jalalabad, and Khost, some seven hours away. Following the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani administration in Kabul, this is the first show of resistance to the Taliban's control of Afghanistan.

 

The Taliban have begun removing the black, red, and green flag and replacing it with the black on white Taliban banner since taking control of Kabul on Sunday. Hundreds of Taliban militants may be seen around Afghanistan, including in Kabul, flying the Taliban flag and putting it on important structures. 

Earlier this week, the Afghan flag was snapped above Kabul's presidential palace and even at Hamid Karzai International Airport.