Taliban celebrate Afghanistan’s I-Day as locals intensify protest
The Taliban celebrated the war-ravaged country’s independence day on Thursday by declaring that they defeated the 20-year-old United States led-invasion as they took over the country. The new independence day also commemorates the 1919 treaty which ended British rule in Afghanistan. “Fortunately, today we are celebrating the anniversary of independence from Britain,” the Taliban were quoted as saying by the Associated Press on Thursday, adding they “forced another arrogant power of the world, the United States, to fail and retreat from our holy territory of Afghanistan.”
Afghan nationals, who have been desperate to flee their home country, defied the Taliban for a second consecutive day on Thursday as they waved their national flag at scattered rallies across various provinces. The protests are being observed as a strong sign of defiance against the Taliban’s rule.
“My demand from the international community, the (UN) Security Council, is that they turn their attention to Afghanistan and not allow the achievements of 20 years to be wasted,” a protester told news agency AFP.
The Taliban, who said they have become more moderate and progressive than earlier, responded to the protests violently. They killed three protesters on Thursday for carrying the Afghan national flag in the Asadabad city of Kunar province. At another protest in the Nangarhar province, a video posted on the internet showed a demonstrator bleeding due to a gunshot wound as onlookers tried to carry him away. A 24-hour curfew was declared in the Khost province as the Taliban violently broke up another protest, AP further reported.
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Meanwhile, a confidential United Nations document seen by AFP shows that the Taliban are intensifying their search for people who worked with the United States and Nato, despite the group promising no revenge against its adversaries. The Taliban have come up with a priority list of individuals and family members who are to be arrested and have been conducting door-to-door visits for the same. The UN document added the Taliban are also screening individuals to the Kabul airport and have set up checkpoints in major cities.
(With agency inputs)
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