Middle East News

Afghans Protest for a Second Day Against Extremism, Demand Security

Thousands of Afghans protested for the second day against the brutal slaying of seven ethnic Hazara whose bodies were discovered over the weekend.

Protesters carried the victims’ coffins through Kabul and demanded better protection from the Taliban and Islamic State militants. Demonstrators marched to the presidential palace where family members and organizers met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. Ghani promised during the televised meeting to address the protesters’ demands.

The bodies of seven Hazara were found last week in the southern Zabul province, the site of increased fighting between rival Taliban factions. The victims included two children, and at least one woman. Some of the victims, including a 9-year-old girl, were reported to have been beheaded.

It is unclear who is responsible for the murders.

Protesters on Tuesday carried the coffins through the eastern city of Ghazni, chanting slogans against the Taliban and ISIL. Thousands later lined the streets of Kabul to receive the victims.

Hazara, the third-largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, are majority-Shia and have been targets of Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. Thousands were killed under Taliban rule in the 1990s. The seven victims discovered this week were among a larger group kidnapped last month by a group the government says are ISIL-linked militants.


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