Taliban open fire as hundreds of Afghans take to streets to support national flag
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Kabul: Several people have been shot dead in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan by the Taliban during rallies supporting the Afghan national flag, as per reports. Members of the Taliban opened fire on people rallying in support of the Afghan national flag in the eastern Nangarhar province, Sputnik reported. At least two people were killed and 12 others injured after the Taliban opened fire on the protesters.
Al Jazeera reported that at least two people were killed and 12 were injured in the Jalalabad clashes. The report said that clashes erupted after hundreds of Afghan people took to the streets to show support for the national flag.
There is a big campaign underway in Afghanistan seeking retention of the Afghan national flag.
Earlier, a number of youngsters had gathered in Kunar province of Afghanistan demanding the Taliban to let the Afghan Government flag fly over the country. Afghan media reported that there is a vast campaign on social media demanding the Afghanistan Islamic Emirate to maintain the Afghan flag while others suggest a joint flag of both.
Meanwhile, a number of women gathered in Kabul demanding a share in the upcoming government. The women asked the power holders not to forget them in the upcoming regime. The women though did not name the Taliban directly; this is apparently a rare move in Afghanistan where the Taliban have grappled control of nearly the entire country, reports said.
Women, children beaten and whipped as they try to reach Kabul airport
The Taliban’s promises of “safe passage” to the Kabul airport for Afghans trying to flee the country have been undermined by reports of women and children being beaten and whipped as they tried to pass through checkpoints set up by the militants, The Guardian reported.
The US says the Taliban has committed to “safe passage” for people who want to reach the airport. But reports from the Afghan capital say that there have been incidents of violence at the checkpoints on Airport Road, including photographs of a woman and a child with head injuries after reportedly being beaten and whipped for trying to cross a checkpoint.
Sources in Kabul told The Guardian that the Taliban are checking the documents and forcibly turning some people around at the checkpoints, refusing to let them reach the airport.
The US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, said while significant numbers of people have been able to reach the airfield, now under the US military control, “there have been instances where we have received reports of people being turned away or pushed back or even beaten… We are taking that up in a channel with the Taliban to try to resolve the issues. And we are concerned about whether that will continue to unfold in the coming days.”
Sullivan said that keeping open routes to the airport is an “hour-by-hour issue… It’s something we are clear-eyed about and very focused on holding the Taliban accountable to follow through on its commitment”.
White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said that if the Taliban fail to provide safe passage to the airport for civilians, “the consequences are the full weight and force of the United States military. We’ve made that clear. But right now… We’re not trusting, we’re not taking their word for it”.