Kabul: The protest by residents of Faizabad against the lack of drinking water, electricity and deteriorating security situation entered its second day in central Badakhshan.
The protest turned violent near the entrance to the Badakhshan governor’s office, killing four people and injuring 44 others on Tuesday. Protesters staged a sit-in near the provincial office on Wednesday, and chanted slogans calling for the removal and trial of the governor of Badakhshan.
The protesters closed the entrances to the new city and the old city of Faizabad and said they would continue to protest until their demands are met. They accused the bodyguards of the governor of Badakhshan of being guilty of shooting people and want to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Badakhshan police spokesperson Sanaullah Rouhani said police had not been involved in the incident. Nik Mohammad Nazari, spokesperson for the governor of Badakhshan, issued a statement urging the people to exercise restraint and patience, saying that a fact-finding mission would soon investigate the violence in the presence of the families of the martyrs and wounded.
The statement said that civil demonstration and protest is the right of every citizen. The shooting had many repercussions, and many former and current members of parliament in Badakhshan denounced it by posting on Facebook. The Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has called for an investigation into the violence in Faizabad, and the House of Representatives has called the shooting of protesters “unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, the acting district chief of the Arghanj Khah district of Badakhshan province said that two key checkpoints of Afghan forces in the district have fallen to the Taliban. Ghulam Mohammad told RFE/RL that about 200 forces were surrounded by the Taliban after last night’s Taliban attack, and that fighting was raging in center of the district.
He added that if the extra forces do not arrive, the district will fall completely. Earlier, the Taliban reported the fall of several districts, including Dam and Jaghatu in Ghazni province, Dawlatabad in Faryab province and Jawand in Badghis province. Security and defense officials say Afghan forces have made tactical retreats from several areas.