The Taliban have today fired warning shots in the air to disperse a small protest for women’s rights in Kabul, according to reports by AFP journalists who were present.
Six women were protesting outside a Kabul school in the wake of last week’s instructions from the Taliban-run administration for male students and teachers to return to lessons in secondary schools, while omitting female pupils. These protesters belonged to a group that calls itself the “Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women Activists.”
As part of their protest, they carried a banner which read, “Don’t break our pens, don’t burn our books, don’t close our schools,” which led to an altercation with Taliban forces. They pushed the protesters backwards to shut down the demonstration, while a foreign journalist was struck with a rifle and prevented from making video footage.
As one fighter began to shoot in the air, according to AFP journalists who witnessed the scene, the protesting women took cover within the school itself.
The individual who led the Taliban security response to this incident, Mawlawi Nasratullah, has identified himself as the head of special forces in Kabul. He took the view that the protesters “did not coordinate with security authorities regarding their protest.” Furthermore, he added; “They have the right to protest in our country like every other country. But they must inform the security institutes before.”