In Afghanistan, thousands of people are outraged after the Taliban beheaded a nine year old girl. The beheading took place less than a week ago. Additionally, six other victims were also kidnapped and beheaded. Thousands of people took to the city of Kabul in order to express their outrage, representing the largest protest in Kabul in over 15 years.
The act was committed as the conflict between two rival Taliban groups escalated. However, it is unknown which of the two groups committed the beheadings. Most people are considering the action to be a hate crime against the Hazara people. The Hazara represents a minority group in Afghanistan, mostly consisting of Shia Muslims. All of the victims were Hazara.
At the protest, many of the outraged citizens were carrying photos of the victims. Most of the photos were of the nine year old victim named Shukria. According to one user on Twitter, her name means “to give thanks”. Many people are considering the killing to be a blatant attack against humanity.
The protesters marched for about eight kilometers while carrying the coffins of the victims throughout the city. A group of women carried Shukria’s coffin. Demonstrators also chanted anti-Taliban slogans and displayed banners that criticized the government for failing to protect their people. Fortunately, the protest was peaceful, and no acts of violence took place.
The protesters marched to the Presidential Palace, and they pushed against the gates while crying out for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to take more action against the Taliban. Many of the protesters called for him to resign from office. The security of the palace fired shots into the air in order to break up the crowd.
President Ghani later said on Twitter, “We’re all extremely pained by the horrific crime of Zabul. This’s the act of our enemies. V’ll have reprisal. Must stay united, not divided.”
It is unknown if a second protest will be planned.