Taliban Fighters Turn Weapons on Afghan People as Independence Day Demonstrations Sweep Nation


Taliban gunmen reportedly opened fire Thursday on citizens in Afghanistan as they waved their national flag to celebrate the country’s 1919 independence from the then-British Empire.

Reuters reported a number of people were confirmed killed during a demonstration in the city of Asadabad in eastern Afghanistan.

The outlet reported it could not confirm whether those people were shot to death or trampled. It appeared that flag-waving promoted aggression from the Taliban.

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

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Similar flag demonstrations occurred elsewhere in the country, including in Kabul, where rumors of Taliban violence were also reported.

Images purporting to show such demonstrations went viral online Thursday:

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Reuters reported that some Afghans had been spotted tearing down white Taliban banners. One video posted on Twitter showed an act of defiance against the Taliban in broad daylight, reportedly in Kabul.

Afghan Independence Day is celebrated annually on Aug. 19 to commemorate a treaty that separated the country from British influence in 1919. British forces first occupied the country in the 19th Century to use the region as a buffer zone between Russia and India.

This year’s celebration comes as the Taliban has taken hold of the country following the chaotic exit of the U.S. military ordered by President Joe Biden.

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Numerous buildings in Kabul ironically this past weekend saw the Afghan national flag removed by the Taliban. That is the same flag traditionally flown for the Aug. 19 national holiday.

Life for so many urban Afghanis is now foreign with the Taliban in control as the demographically young country is under the thumb of remote Pashtun terrorists for the first time since the U.S. pushed the group mostly to the eastern portion of the country beginning after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Statista reported that in 2019, an estimated 42 percent of Afghanistan’s population was 14 years old or younger, while roughly 55 percent was between the ages of 15 and 64.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.