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Home / News / World /  Afghan crisis: Several killed after Taliban open fire on protesters - 10 points

Flag-waving protesters took to the streets of more Afghanistan cities today as popular opposition to the Taliban spread, and a witness said several people were killed when the militants fired on a crowd in Asadabad in the east.

This happened days after the fall of Afghanistan into the hands of the Taliban.

Here's your 10-point development to this story:

1. "Our flag, our identity," a crowd of men and women waving black, red and green national flags shouted in the capital Kabul, a video footage posted online showed, on the day Afghanistan celebrates independence from British control in 1919.

There were also reports of gunshots fired near the rally, but they appeared to be armed Taliban shooting in the air.

2. The Islamist militant movement conquered Afghanistan at lightning speed as foreign troops withdrew, surprising even its leaders and leaving them to fill a power vacuum in many places.

3. Since seizing Kabul, the Taliban have presented a more moderate face to the world, saying they want peace, will not take revenge against old enemies and will respect the rights of women within the framework of Islamic law.

During their previous rule from 1996-2001, they severely restricted women's rights, staged public executions and blew up ancient Buddhist statues.

4. In Asadabad, capital of the eastern province of Kunar, several people were killed during a rally, but it was not clear if the casualties resulted from Taliban firing or from a stampede that it triggered, witness Mohammed Salim said.

"Hundreds of people came out on the streets," Salim said. "At first I was scared and didn't want to go but when I saw one of my neighbours joined in, I took out the flag I have at home.

"Several people were killed and injured in the stampede and firing by the Taliban."

5. Protests also flared up in the city of Jalalabad and a district of Paktia province, both also in the east.

On Wednesday, Taliban fighters fired at protesters waving flags in Jalalabad, killing three, witnesses and media reported. Media reported similar scenes in Asadabad and another eastern city, Khost, on Wednesday.

6. "Salute those who carry the national flag and thus stand for dignity of the nation," First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who is trying to rally opposition to the Taliban, said on Twitter.

Saleh said on Tuesday he was in Afghanistan and the "legitimate caretaker president" after President Ashraf Ghani fled as the Taliban took Kabul.

7. Former Afghan leaders, including ex-president Hamid Karzai, have been holding talks with the Taliban as they put together a new government.

8. US President Joe Biden said the Taliban must decide if it wanted international recognition.

"I think they're going through a sort of existential crisis about: Do they want to be recognised by the international community as being a legitimate government? I'm not sure they do," Biden said in an interview.

9. Kabul has been generally calm since Taliban forces entered on Sunday, but the airport has been in chaos as people try to leave the country.

As per the reports of Sky News, in a heartbreaking incident, desperate Afghan women were seen throwing their babies over the razor wire of the Kabul airport compound.

On either side of a narrow road, inside the walls of the compound at Kabul airport, exhausted British soldiers lie in the shade waiting for their turn to head back outside into the chaos once again.

10. Twelve people have been killed in and around the airport, a NATO and a Taliban official said. The deaths were caused either by gunshots or by stampedes, according to the Taliban official.

He urged people who do not have the legal right to travel to go home. "We don't want to hurt anyone at the airport," said the Taliban official, who declined to be identified.

The Taliban also agreed not to attack foreign forces as they leave.

 

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