Warning shots fired to disperse protesters in Kabul
KABUL (Pajhwok): Police guards at the Presidential Palace fired warning shots to disperse protestors who carried the bodies of seven partially beheaded civilians and asked the President and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to resign.
The protesters accused President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah of miserably failing to protect civilians and asked them to step down.
They said the top government officials were engaged in a power struggle and had forgotten their prime responsibilities including the protection of masses.
Sources said security guards at the Presidential Palace fired into the air to disperse the protesters after blocking their way into the Palace.
In one of the largest protests in years, thousands of people on Wednesday marched through the capital Kabul against the beheading of seven civilians by Islamic State (IS) insurgents in southern Zabul province.
The gunmen abducted the seven civilians, including four women and a child, from Jaghori district of southern Ghazni province about a month back. The hostages were decapitated in Arghandab district on November 8 amid clashes between Daesh and Taliban militants.
Outraged by the beheadings, Kabul residents rallied from Kota Sangi area to the Presidential Palace. The slogan-chanting demonstrators, including civil society members, carried the victims’ bodies.
“Death to Pakistani spies and death to Taliban and Daesh,” the protestors shouted, asking the government to take stern action against the perpetrators. Some of them called for the resignation of the president and his CEO.
One of the protestors, Mujtaba Amiri, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “We are here to raise our voice for justice. The government should respond to the killing of civilians by Daesh and Taliban militants.”
He said the government had not only allowed the rebels to kill people but to create divisions among ethnic tribes. Leaders of the government should stand down if they could not ensure civilians’ security.
The demonstration, also attended by a number of lawmakers, civil society activists and women, started marching towards the Presidential Palace at around 9:30am.
Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament strongly condemned the beheadings of the Shia civilians in Zabul, saying the government had failed to rescue the civilians from rebels’ custody.
The lawmakers asked the US, the UN and the international community to play their role and be sincere in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.
Obaidullah Barakzai, a lawmaker from Uruzgan province, said: “We shouted and informed everyone that Daesh was on the rise in Afghanistan and the group was recruiting, but nobody listened to us.”
He said the beheaded civilians did not belong to a single group, but they were Afghans. He said the massacre was part of a game being played against the people of Afghanistan.
Eng. Zakaria Zakarya, a lawmaker from Kabul province, said: “The incident of Khakh-i-Afghan was the worst of its kind in the history of the country.” He said it was time for a grand action against the incumbent government because it had failed to address people woes.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.