Protest organisers cancelled rallies in Kabul on Thursday after the Taliban effectively banned demonstrations, warning violators “will face severe legal action”.
Earlier this week armed fighters dispersed hundreds of protesters in cities across Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, Faizabad in the northeast and in Herat in the west, where two people were shot dead.
Late Wednesday, the Taliban moved to snuff out any further civil unrest, saying protests would need prior authorisation from the justice ministry, adding “for the time being” no demonstrations were allowed.
There was a noticeably stronger Taliban presence on the streets of Kabul on Thursday morning as armed fighters — including special forces in military fatigues — stood guard on street corners and manned checkpoints, according to AFP journalists.
An organiser of a protest outside the Pakistan embassy — where gunmen sprayed shots into the air on Tuesday to disperse a rally — told AFP on Thursday it had been cancelled because of the overnight ban.
At the site of another planned protest in the city, there were no signs of a demonstration.