Taliban Open Fire on Hundreds of Protesters Opposing the Group's Takeover of Afghanistan: Report


Taliban gunmen opened fire on a crowd of protesters and beat and detained reporters who were covering the event Wednesday in the city of Jalalabad, according to reports.

Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based network that has shared video this week covering the violent takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban fighters, reported that citizens in the eastern Afghan city had gathered to protest as the Taliban took down an Afghan national flag and replaced it with a banner for the group.

The demonstration turned deadly when the Taliban opened fire, Al Jazeera reported. At least 12 people were shot as they opposed the hostile takeover of their city and country. Three were reported dead as of Wednesday morning.

“A public display of dissent in the northeastern city of Jalalabad was met by force,” The New York Times reported. “Taliban soldiers fired into the crowd and beat protesters and journalists.”

Numerous videos posted on Twitter purport to show the event, which appeared generally orderly and peaceful.

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In one video, however, gunfire could be heard as protesters fled.

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Al Jazeera reported that a “a fairly sizable part” of those living in Jalalabad oppose the Taliban raising their banner and removing the Afghan national flag.

“We have seen uploaded on social media, protests in the streets of hundreds if not thousands of people waving the national flag,” the news outlet’s Rob McBride told other reporters. “We know that they have put the flag back up again in an important square in Jalalabad and that there have been clashes with the Taliban…”

Pajhwok Afghan News appeared to confirm the validity of the videos that were going viral Wednesday online.

The videos are among others that have circulated online this week since the country’s security forces collapsed — leading to the fall of the capital city of Kabul on Sunday.

The U.S. military has been evacuating American citizens and some Afghans from the Kabul airport throughout this week as the city and country are now run by the Taliban.

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President Joe Biden spoke briefly on the calamity in Afghanistan on Monday. He took no questions from reporters afterward and headed back to vacation at Camp David in Maryland.

Tuesday, the U.S. government warned thousands of Americans still in Afghanistan that it cannot guarantee they can escape the country safely.

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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.