Kabul: CNN's Clarissa Ward details Taliban confrontation
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Taliban militants opened fire during protests against the group in the Afghan city of Jalalabad killing three people and injuring at least a dozen on Wednesday, according to witnesses. A Taliban source said that only one person had been killed in the city located about 90 miles to the east of the capital Kabul. The witnesses claimed that the shooting came after local residents attempted to install Afghanistan’s national flag at a square in Jalalabad.
Footage from the scene shot by a local news agency showed protesters carrying the Afghan flag fleeing from the square with the sound of gunshots in the background.
A former police official told Reuters that four people had been killed and 13 injured in the protests, without giving further details.
It was not immediately possible to verify how the deaths occurred.
A Taliban militant in Jalalabad said: “There were some troublemakers who wanted to create issues for us.
“These people are exploiting our relaxed policies.”
The news comes after Taliban fighters used gunfire, whips, sticks and sharp objects to maintain crowds of thousands waiting outside Kabul airport in hopes of escape.
At least half a dozen Afghans were wounded within the hour of violent escalation, including serious injuries to a woman and her child.
Thousands of people have been waiting outside Kabul airport in attempts to get out of the country since the Taliban concurred Afghanistan over the weekend.
An Afghan and former State Department contractor described the scene at the airport to Fox News.
He said: “There were kids, women, babies, old women, they could barely walk. They [are in a] very, very bad situation, I’m telling you.
“There was like 10,000 or more than 10,000 people, and they [were] running into the airport… the Taliban [were] beating people and the people were jumping from the fence, the concertina wire, and also the wall.”
For the first time, leaders of the Taliban showed their faces to the world in a press briefing, in which they said that they would seek no “revenge” against those who had opposed them.
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One of the leaders said: “The Islamic Emirate – after the freedom of this nation – is not going to revenge anybody, we do not have any grudges against anybody. We have pardoned anyone, all those who have fought against us.”
However, surrendering soldiers who fought on the side of the West have been executed outside their homes by Taliban insurgents.
The Taliban leaders went on to say that women “can have activities in different areas and serve in education and health, but of course within the frameworks [of Sharia law]”.
But these promises appear to have fallen flat, as already, a woman has been shot dead by a Taliban fighter for refusing to wear a burqa, Fox News reported.
A photo emerged of a woman in Takhar province lying in a pool of blood, with loved ones crouched around her, after she was killed by Taliban fighter for being in public without a head covering, according to Fox News.
Protesting Afghans have said they feel deserted by the world after President Joe Biden continued with Donald Trump’s plans to pull all American forces out of the country.
The UK has currently offered asylum to 5,000 Afghan women, children and other vulnerable groups, and plans to re-settle 15,000 more in the coming five years.
But thousands more Afghan citizens are in desperate need of help.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am proud that the UK has been able to put in place this route to help them and their families live safely in the UK.
“The best solution for everyone is an Afghanistan that works for all Afghans.
“That means the international community coming together to set firm, political conditions for the country’s future governance.
“And it means focusing our efforts on increasing the resilience of the wider region to prevent a humanitarian emergency.”
But many have argued that the violence that has been inflicted on the Afghan people by the Taliban already suggests that the country’s future governance will not be one of forgiveness, humanity, and order.
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