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International - September 7, 2021

Afghanistan: Taliban fire warning shots at protest in Kabul

Afghanistan: Taliban fire warning shots at protest in Kabul

The Taliban have fired shots to disperse the crowd at a large protest in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Video footage from the scene shows people running to safety, while heavy gunfire can be heard in the background.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Tuesday to demand women’s rights and denounce Taliban rule.

Protesters also chanted anti-Pakistan slogans, as many believe neighboring Pakistan supports the Taliban, which the country denies.

The demonstrations come one day after the leader of the resistance forces, Ahmad Massoud, called for a “national uprising” against the Taliban.

A video sent to the BBC shows Taliban fighters firing their guns into the air – a move the group banned last week after several people were reported killed after the celebratory aerial fire.

Some journalists were prevented from filming at the rally, and Afghanistan’s Tolo News agency reported that its cameraman was arrested along with some other local and foreign media workers.

Women have been protesting for the past week, but on Tuesday men also joined their calls for equality and safety. Many observers had commented that there were no men at the previous women-led rallies.

Many people in Afghanistan blame neighboring Pakistan for the Taliban’s return to power, and protesters chanted “death to Pakistan” and “we don’t want a Pakistani puppet government” at Tuesday’s protest.

Pakistan has long been accused the United States and elsewhere of providing support for the militants.

On Monday, there were unconfirmed reports that Pakistan had helped the Taliban using drones to bomb Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley – where fighting continues between militant fighters and resistance forces.

Pakistan military spokesperson Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar denied this.

“Pakistan has nothing to do with what is happening inside Afghanistan, be it Panjshir or anywhere else,” he told the BBC.

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