Afghanistan: During Independence Day protests, Afghans wave national flag in defiance of Taliban

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Afghanistan: During Independence Day protests, Afghans wave national flag in defiance of Taliban


Afghan protesters waved their national flag in defiance of the Taliban on the country’s Independence Day.

Parades of cars crossed I accept with red, green and black banners fluttering from them on Thursday.

the Taliban, which have their own black and white flag, was quick to quell the protests, which also erupted in Nangarhar, Khost and Kunar provinces.

In the eastern city of Asadabad, several people were reportedly killed after waving the national flag, according to a witness quoted by the Reuters news agency.

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Taliban fighters pass through Kabul waving their white flag. Photo: AP

In Kabul, a crowd of men and women were seen waving the national flag and chanting: “Our flag, our identity”.

Insurgents reportedly fired at demonstrators, but it is not clear whether the victims died as a result of the gunfire or a stampede.

It comes after Taliban fighters violently dispersed a protest in Jalalabad on Wednesday.

At least one person was killed after protesters removed the group’s flag from a public place and replaced it with the national flag.

In Khost, in the southeast of the country, the Taliban authorities imposed a 24-hour curfew after violence erupted as they tried to break up the protests.

Islamist insurgents have said they are marking Afghanistan’s independence day by celebrating their victory over the United States.

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Thousands of people gathered outside Kabul airport, jostling for a plane

They said of the commemorations: “Fortunately, today we are celebrating the anniversary of the independence of Great Britain.

“At the same time, due to our jihadist resistance, we have forced another arrogant power in the world, the United States, to fail and withdraw from our sacred territory. Afghanistan. »

Thousands of Afghans are still desperately trying to flee a life under the Taliban through Kabul airport.

Foreign embassies have set up evacuation centers inside the airport grounds, including the UK and US who have pledged to airlift thousands of their own nationals and eligible Afghans in the coming weeks.

At least 12 people have died in and around the airport since Sunday, according to insurgent and NATO officials.

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Thousands of people wait outside Kabul airport to try to leave Afghanistan

The Taliban have warned of the consequences of an attempted flight, a spokesperson saying, “We don’t want to hurt anyone at the airport.”

But scenes there have become increasingly desperate in recent days, with new footage showing a child passed over to a foreign soldier in hopes he can escape.

Another clip, reportedly shot on Tuesday, shows shots fired near large crowds and fighters kicking those trying to escape.

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New footage shows crowds gathered at the airport overnight, as shots are fired into the air

Sky correspondent Stuart Ramsay, who is on the ground in Kabul, said Thursday morning that the crowd around the barbed wire fence was “utter chaos”.

He described “thousands and thousands” of families with children trying to get to evacuation centers inside the complex, especially through the American gate.

People gather outside the airport compound to try to get in on Wednesday
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People gather outside the airport compound to try to get in on Wednesday

For the most part, Taliban fighters do not prevent people from entering, he added, but those without asylum are forced to pass dangerous checkpoints on their way home. .

Speaking to Sky News this morning, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the Taliban was cooperating with the British in letting those eligible through to be evacuated.

But he said the real challenge for embassy staff at the airport was “crowd issues” as thousands battle for security.

Kabul Airport
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The airport compound is surrounded by barbed wire

“It’s very, very difficult for these soldiers who are dealing with desperate and desperate people,” he told Kay Burley.

In terms of figures, he pledged to “advance nearly 2,000 people” to embark on evacuation flights in the coming days.

Asked about images of parents offering their children to be saved by Western soldiers, he said the armed forces cannot take young people without their families.

“We can’t just take a minor on our own,” he said.

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Meanwhile, President Joe Biden pledged to keep US troops on the ground for as long as it takes to get all Americans out to the last.

Speaking to ABC News, he said, “If there are any US citizens left, we will stay until we get them all out. “

Defending the decision to withdraw troops before the 20th anniversary of September 11, he said there was “no way” to do so. “Without ensuing chaos”.

The UK has pledged to take 20,000 Afghan refugees, with military flights arriving at RAF Brize Norton every day.

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