Thousands Flood Kabul To Protest Extremist Killings

KABUL, Afghanistan( AP) Anger and thwarting over the brutal killings of seven members of Afghanistan’s minority Hazaras spilled into the streets of Kabul on Wednesday, with about 10,000 beings parading to require right for the Shite minority and calling on the government to do more to ensure the nation’s insurance or step down.

The case of seven Hazaras, whose beheaded torsoes were found Saturday in the country’s southeastern state of Zabul, appears to have startled numerous in war-battered Afghanistan, combining them across ethnic and sectarian divides.

No one claimed responsibility for the killings, though Afghan officials have accused a range of extremists, from Taliban rebels to an developing affiliate in Afghanistan of the Islamic State group, which is fighting in Syria and Iraq.

The protest climaxed outside President Ashraf Ghani’s heavily fortified presidential palace at Pashtunistan Square, where marchers wreaked the coffins, draped in green pennants symbolizing the Shiite minority.

At one point, presidential protects opened fire as some of the protesters tried to scale the walls and get into the palace sand. The president’s lieutenant spokesman, Zafar Hashemi, said here shooting wounded 10 people. It was not immediately clear if Ghani was inside the palace at the time.

Shortly afterward, Ghani extended live on national television, is calling for tranquilize and promising that the Hazara deaths would be avenged. “The nation’s sting is my anguish, ” he said, vowing the authorities concerned would have “no mercy” on the killers.

“Like you, I will not calm down until the perpetrators of these misdemeanours are to be submitted to right. We shall retaliate the blood of our brothers and sisters, ” he said, adding that the “enemies of Afghanistan” are trying to create disunity and “bring ethnic and sectarian violence” to the country.

After the gunshots, many of the demonstrators dispersed but about 1,000 were allowed into the palace compound. About 30 of them were to meet with Ghani and members of his National Security Council afterward Wednesday to press demands for justice and security, according to organizer Lilia Mohammadi.

The seven coffins had also been moved inside the palace sand, she said, where they would abide the darknes a conciliatory gesticulate in accordance with the gunfire.

Kabul’s deputy police chief Gul Agha Rouhani said security forces killed in the air to disband the protesters trying to scale the palace walls. He could not confirm reports of traumata. Eventually, rampage police took up ranks at the barriers as a tense appease returned.

“About 100 parties were trying to get into the palace by clambering over the wall, ” said Ahmad Sharif, 36, who took part in the revival. He said he saw one demonstrator been struck by gunshots.

Before arriving at the palace entrances, the objectors sauntered for almost four hours carrying the green-draped coffins of the 7 Hazaras four guys, two women and a nine-year-old girl, Shukria. Many chanted “Death to the Taliban, ” ”Down with the Government” and “Death to Pakistan.”

The seven were seized in Ghazni province, which frontier Zabul, up to 6 months ago. Afghanistan’s spy agency dismissed Taliban claims that affiliates of the Islamic State group were behind the killings. In the past five days, rival Taliban radicals have been fighting one another in the area where their own bodies were found.

On Tuesday, demonstrators, many of whom had traveled with the coffins to the capital, 380 kilometers( 240 miles) from Zabul, supported an overnight vigil. Ghani had sent a delegation to Ghazni to investigate the killed, his office said, describing the abductors as “mainly non-local terrorists.”

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan condemned the killings and said they may constitute a war crimes. Killing and kidnapping civilians are “serious violations of international humanitarian law, ” UNAMA honcho Nicholas Haysom said and called for the perpetrators to be held accountable.

During the revival, the Kabul marchers announced on Ghani and his Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to vacate if they cannot guarantee the security of the country.

“We came to the front gate of palace to conjure our articulations for justice and to condemn all acts of murder in the country, ” said Sakhi Rizayee 37, one of the organizers of the protest.

The demonstrators included each member of all Afghanistan’s ethnic groups, according to activist Zahra Sepehr, who said the turnout was about 10,000.

That would make it the biggest show in Kabul since the March killing of a young woman, Farkhunda Malikzada, by a mob enraged over incorrect was pointed out that she had burned a print of the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

“We miss justice and we want this government, Ghani and Abdullah, to go so that we are able have a government that protects all the people of the country and makes defence to the whole country, ” Sepehr told The Associated Press.

The Taliban have stepped up their fight across Afghanistan this year in an effort to topple the government. The Islamic State also has had an emerging proximity, especially in Zabul and southeastern Nangarhar province, according to Afghan officials.

The insurgents have also links up in some parts of the country with other militant groups, such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Numerous IMU partisans in Afghanistan, including those under Zabul, have declared patriotism to IS, officials have said.

Afghanistan’s Hazaras, who are predominantly Shiite, have been attacked in the past, and this year many of them have been the victims in a number of large-scale abductions.

Another activist and objector in Kabul, Habibullah, who goes by simply one call, said Wednesday’s demonstration aimed to show the unity of the Afghan parties, irrespective of ethnicity or sect.

“Our voice misses right, brotherhood, sanctity of life, quietnes and equality, ” he said. “No one can tolerate any longer the situation we have in the country.”

Associated Press columnists Amir Shah and Humayoon Babur in Kabul contributed to this story.

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