This past Wednesday, at least three people have been confirmed as dead in the wake of the Taliban opening fire on a crowd of protesters who were carrying the Afghan flag and seeking an end to the Taliban control in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
“Three people were killed and more than a dozen injured after Taliban militants opened fire during protests against the group in the Afghan city of Jalalabad on Wednesday,” as stated to Reuters by sources that had had boots on the ground. “A Taliban source said one person had been killed in the city, some 150 km (90 miles) to the east of Kabul.”
After taking over, the Taliban has since pulled down the Afghan flag throughout cities all over Afghanistan as it made its move to recapture any territory it had lost in the almost 20 year-long conflict with coalition forces. In cities such as Kabul, the Taliban has swapped out the Afghan flag with its own flag, which is a white field sporting the group’s creed.
“Video footage shot by Pajhwok Afghan News, a local news agency, showed protesters in the city who were carrying the Afghan flag fleeing with the sound of gunshots in the background,” reported the outlet.
The Taliban spokespeople have denied that it causes the deaths in Jalalabad, however, a few sources seem to indicate that the group has returned to cracking down on Afghan citizens despite its current appearances to the international community that it has seemingly changed in its 20-year denial of power. In Jalalabad, the Taliban fighters claimed that the protesters were “exploiting” the group’s newly discovered restraint.
“There were some troublemakers who wanted to create issues for us,” one militant from Jalalabad stated to the media, as reported by Reuters. “These people are exploiting our relaxed policies.”
A series of issues with the militant Taliban seemed to continue into Kabul where forces had allegedly agreed to let groups of foreign nationals and Afghans with the right paperwork into the Kabul airport, which is the location where the U.S. Military and other coalition groups were currently preparing and executing evacuation flights. This past Wednesday Reuters reported that it seems that the Taliban was not going along with its agreements.
“Armed members of the Taliban kept people desperate to flee Afghanistan from reaching Kabul’s airport on Wednesday, witnesses said, while President Joe Biden vowed to keep U.S. troops in the country until all Americans are evacuated,” stated the news source.