The Taliban cracked down on Wednesday on a massive protest in eastern Afghanistan in favor of the Afghan tricolor flag, killing at least two people and injuring several others, according to witnesses, after protesters objected to replacing it with the white flag inscribed with the Islamic declaration of faith, which represents their Islamic Emirate.
The protests took place this morning in the streets of Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, one of the last cities to fall to the Taliban.
“The protesters wanted to hang the national tricolor flag on the eve (of the anniversary) of Afghanistan’s independence from the British Empire,” a citizen of Jalalabad, who requested anonymity, told Efe.
According to the source, the Taliban reacted by “firing in the air” and later, after “the mediation of tribal leaders,” the insurgents agreed to hang the flag “until the new government” insurgent is established.
At least two people were killed during the protest and several others were injured, several unidentified witnesses told the Afghan media outlet Khaama Press.
Earlier, the Afghan news agency Pajhwok had also confirmed “protests in Jalalabad city in support of the national flag,” detailing that “the Taliban fired on protesters and beat some photojournalists.”
In a first video picked up by the Afghan agency on its Twitter account, a large crowd is seen roaming the streets of the city, holding flags aloft or holding between several other large ones, while the crowd shouts chants.
In a later video, the jubilation and show of force turns to chaos, with shots apparently fired into the air by suspected Taliban, and then images of several men crying inside a house.
Pro-national flag demonstrations were also recorded during the day in other cities across the country, such as in Khost in the east of the country.