Protests against the Taliban have entered their second day, this time reaching Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. On Thursday, hundreds of people took to the streets, in part to celebrate Independence Day, but also to rally against the militants, who captured the capital on Monday.
The protests, which are reportedly happening in Kabul and at least one other city, are occurring one day after the Taliban opened fire on civilians waving a flag in Jalalabad, killing three, according to witnesses.
Videos emerged on Thursday of Afghans in Kabul carrying a 200-meter-long flag through the streets. The person filming the video, who speaks with an Australian accent, claims that despite the Taliban opening fire on dissidents and “beating up women and children,” the protesters continued to show defiance in the streets.
At the end of the video, a local man is seen waving his fist at the camera and saying, “I hate you Pakistan.” Historically, some have accused the Pakistani government of supporting the Taliban.
Another video released by the same witness on Thursday morning showed Afghan women leading the flag-bearing activists.
Protesters are heard chanting, “Long live Afghanistan, our national flag is our identity.”
There has been widespread panic in the capital since the Taliban took power on Monday. People flooded Kabul airport in desperate attempts to escape the country, where the Taliban is imposing strict Sharia law. Some fell to their death after trying to cling to the outside of evacuating US military aircraft.
The security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has been rapidly deteriorating since the US decided to withdraw troops by September. Since the decrease in the foreign military presence, the Taliban has captured city after city until finally taking the capital this week.