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Taliban Fighters Fire in Air to Disperse Women's Protest

Taliban Fighters Fire in Air to Disperse Women's Protest

Saturday, 13 August, 2022 - 08:30
Afghan women's rights defenders and civil activists protest to call on the Taliban for the preservation of their achievements and education, in front of the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan September 3, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

Taliban fighters beat women protesters and fired into the air on Saturday as they violently dispersed a rare rally in the Afghan capital.


Since seizing power on August 15 last year, the Taliban have rolled back the marginal gains made by women during the two decades of US intervention in Afghanistan.


About 40 women - chanting "Bread, work and freedom" - marched in front of the education ministry building in Kabul, before the fighters dispersed them by firing their guns into the air, an AFP correspondent reported.


Some women protesters who took refuge in nearby shops were chased and beaten by Taliban fighters with their rifle butts.


The protesters carried a banner which read "August 15 is a black day" as they demanded rights to work and political participation.


"Justice, justice. We're fed up with ignorance," chanted the protesters, many of them not wearing face veils, before they dispersed.


Some journalists covering the protest - the first women's rally in months - were also beaten by the Taliban fighters.


Tens of thousands of girls have been shut out of secondary schools, while women have been barred from returning to many government jobs.


Women have also been banned from travelling alone on long trips, and can only visit public gardens and parks in the capital on days separate from men.


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