Thousands of protesters have joined in an active and emotional march in Kabul, Afghanistan. Warning shots were fired into the air by security forces to disperse the protesters advancing outside the presidential palace.
The protest comes after the abduction and murder of seven civilians- four men, two women, and a nine-year old girl, from the Hazara ethnic minority group. It is not yet known who carried out the murder, BBC News reports.
The Hazaras ethnic group are of Mongolian and Central Asian ancestry, and mainly practice Shia Islam in Afghan areas where Sunni is predominantly observed.
The protesters, numbering to five thousand, especially women, have broken their tradition, taking part in carrying the coffins of the dead. They marched into the streets of Kabul, without noticing the heavy rain.
Location where the bodies were found is in southern province of Zabul, where a recent fighting has erupted between Taliban factions. Some of the bodies have had their throats slit, according to BBC News.
As the marchers roamed around the streets of Kabul, people raised their voices, saying, “Today they kill us, tomorrow they kill you.” Other expressed their opposition by carrying banners and displaying photos of the victims,and shouting, “Death to the Taliban”.
The protesters, although, are constantly experiencing violence in the country have feared the lack of security, and demanded from President Ghani and his government to build a safer environment.
During this past few months, many of the Hazaras have been abducted, held hostage or killed, noting that the Hazaras are politically active and involved community in Afghanistan.
The killing of the seven Hazaras have mobilized not only the Hazara community but has also impelled other ethnic groups, such as the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Pashtuns.
The situation in Kabul has placed President Ashraf Ghani’s government in extreme pressure on how to address the issue. People want more security, freedom, and peace. They want abduction and murder to stop.
Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, speaker of the lower house of parliament, is much aware that the killing is not directly an issue about family or tribe, saying, “This issue doesn’t belong to a family, a tribe or an ethnic group, but it belongs to all Afghans.”