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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Mass protest in Kandahar as Taliban evicts residents

According to media reports, the Taliban asked residents in Southern Kandahar to vacate a residential army colony within three days. This sparked protest in Kandahar as some of the families have been living there for 30 years. However, Taliban spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the evictions.

Thousands of Afghans protested against the Taliban in the southern city of Kandahar on Tuesday (Sept 14), according to a former government official and local television footage, after residents were asked to vacate a residential army colony.

Protesters gathered in front of the governor’s house in Kandahar after around 3,000 families were asked to leave the colony, according to the former government official who witnessed the crowds.

Footage from local media showed crowds of people blocking a road in the city.

The affected area is predominantly occupied by the families of retired army generals and other members of the Afghan security forces.

The families, some of whom had lived in the district for almost 30 years, had been given three days to vacate, the official, who had spoken to some of those affected, said.

Taliban spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the evictions.

Read more: Taliban gets support from Afghan women in a veiled protest

Taliban’s reaction to protests in Afghanistan

Sporadic protests against the Taliban, who swept to power in Afghanistan with the capture of Kabul almost a month ago, have ended in occasionally deadly clashes, although there were no confirmed reports of violence on Tuesday.

Taliban leaders have vowed to investigate any instances of abuse, but have ordered demonstrators to seek permission before holding protests.

The United Nations said on Friday the Taliban’s response to peaceful protests was becoming increasingly violent.

Read more: Taliban’s violent crackdown on protests kills four, UN

Earlier, Taliban beat two Afghan journalists for covering protests by women who were objecting to the announcement of the new Afghan government.

As the Taliban beat and detain the journalists leaving them bruised and distraught has led many to question the credibility of their words that they are softer and moderate than before.

The grotesque sight of these two media people injured with ugly welts and bruises after being beaten and detained for hours by Taliban enforcers paints a grim picture of the Taliban rule and how severely they would control dissent and freedom of speech.

Read more: Taliban beat Afghan journalists painfully for protests coverage