Many killed as Taliban opens fire on protesters in Afghanistan: Reports

The Taliban opened fire on protesters on Thursday who were waving the national flag in the city of Asadabad which led to a stampede, killing several people, as per the Reuters reports. In the first signs of opposition to the Taliban, the protesters in Asadabad were reportedly waving the national flag. This, after they tore down the white flags of the Taliban. It isn’t clear whether the casualties resulted directly from the firing or the stampede.

“Hundreds of people came out on the streets,” Reuters quoted a witness named Mohammed Salim. “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,” the witness said.

The Afghan media has said that there were similar protests in the city of Jalalabad and a district of Paktia province. However, there were no reports of deadly violence.

Afghanistan celebrates independence from British control on August 19 every year. Many took the opportunity to protest against the Islamist fundamentalist group as well on the occasion.