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The Taliban fire assault rifles to disperse a women’s protest in Kabul : NPR


Women march on a main street in Kabul on Saturday, two days before the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover.

Diaa Hadid / NPR


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Diaa Hadid / NPR


Women march on a main street in Kabul on Saturday, two days before the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover.

Diaa Hadid / NPR

KABUL, Afghanistan – Taliban security forces opened fire on the heads of women who staged a rare protest in Kabul on Saturday – a violent crackdown that comes just two days before the group’s one-year anniversary came to power in Afghanistan.

There were no reports of casualties.

About two dozen women marched on a main street of Kabul chanting “bread, work, freedom”, “we want to be in politics” and “no slavery”.

Protesters unfurled a large banner declaring the anniversary of the Taliban’s resumption of power as a day of solidarity with Afghan women. They also asked the international community to support them.

“It’s very important because this is near the first anniversary of Taliban rule and we want to say that we disagree with this government,” said a young woman who told NPR after the rally. She requested anonymity so the Taliban authorities were unable to identify her.

“After a year of this government, the situation has not changed. We are showing that we will not be silent,” she said. “It’s important to show the world that Afghans don’t accept this. We will fight injustice.”

Protesters in Kabul on Saturday marked the anniversary of the Taliban’s resumption of power as a day of solidarity with Afghan women. The protesters also asked the international community to support them.

Diaa Hadid / NPR


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Diaa Hadid / NPR


Protesters in Kabul on Saturday marked the anniversary of the Taliban’s resumption of power as a day of solidarity with Afghan women. The protesters also asked the international community to support them.

Diaa Hadid / NPR

As the women marched, Taliban security forces began snatching the phones and cameras of Afghan journalists and male international reporters. They snatched the phone of a boy riding a bicycle trying to take a picture.

Then, in what appeared to be a coordinated move, they opened fire in the air above the protesters, quickly dispersing them. Taliban security forces have used real fire to disperse protests in the past. But the flames this time were unusually fierce: Several gunmen fired rapidly through the air, leaving shell casings littered the streets.

Several reporters have been arrested, and at least three remain in custody. Taliban security forces have been trying to find the owner of a camera they have confiscated by sending pictures of the item through WhatsApp groups.

The return of the Taliban to power ended four decades of conflict and has largely kept the country secure. But they did limited women’s rightsdeter most girls since high schoolban women from traveling alone and make it difficult for them to work.

They also brutally repress critics of their rule, mainly women who demand their equal rights.

Meanwhile, sanctions have paralyze the economy and plunge the country into a major humanitarian crisis with many Afghans going hungry. Major aid groups and human rights groups have begged the international community not to forget the plight of ordinary Afghans, and to allow trade and commerce to continue.



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