Kabul residents chant “Allahu Akbar” in support of Afghan forces
On Tuesday evening, August 04, hundreds of Kabul residents took to their rooftops and streets chanting the slogan “Allahu Akbar” – which literally means God is the greatest – in support of the Afghan defense and security forces and to express outrage against the Taliban’s growing violence across the country.
Minutes into the campaign, men, children, and at times women, were heard in various parts of the capital Kabul chanting slogans. Some were heard chanting anti-Taliban slogans.
The nightly campaign kicked off at 09:00 PM, as a Taliban claimed a complex attack that targeted the residence of the acting defense minister, Besmillah Khan Mohammadi, in downtown Kabul. At least eight people, mostly civilians including a woman, were killed and 20 others wounded, the Ministry of Interior said today.
According to the ministry, the death toll is expected to rise.
Campaign took to social media
Residents of Kabul went further to storm the social media echoing a united supporting voice for the Afghan defense and security forces who are struggling to ward off the Taliban advances towards provincial capitals. The campaigners posted videos from different streets in Kabul showing dozens of people walking and chanting the slogan “Allahu Akbar” while waving the tricolored flag of Afghanistan.
Parwiz Kawa, a journalist, retweeted a video showing a one-legged young man walking with one crutch among dozens of others while holding Afghanistan national flag with the other hand. “The potential tragedy of the war,” he described the video. He defined the slogan “Allahu Akbar” as the people’s soft resistance against the Taliban. “Each ‘Allahu Akbar’ can become a bullet and hits the heart of a Taliban [member]. The Taliban cannot get rid of a nation.”
In one video footage, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh is seen walking along with the crowd chanting slogan.
However, Kabul was not alone last night in making a rallying cry against the Taliban violence and express support for the Afghan defense and security forces. The same footage showing people in large masses taking to streets and chanting Allahu Akbar was shared from some other provincial capitals as well.
People in Bamyan and Jalalabad, the capital of the eastern Nangarhar province, also took to the streets and joined the campaign.
How did the campaign start?
On Monday evening, residents of Herat city climbed on the roofs of their houses and shouted: “Allahu Akbar” to express support for the defense and security forces and outrage against the Taliban. It was happening as the Taliban had made major advances in the key western province launching attacks against the city from several directions.
Afghan defense and security forces kept the militants at bay with the help of local militias known as uprising forces led by a known anti-Taliban Jihadi leader, Ismail Khan.
In addition to Herat, the militants launched major offensives on capital cities of the southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces over past few days. As a result of the attacks, many have lost their lives, thousands have been displaced, and flights canceled for several days to and from these provincial centers.
In Lashkar Gah, the capital city of Helmand, Gen. Sami Sadat, commander of the 215 Maiwand Military Corps, has reportedly asked the people where the Taliban militants have taken positions to leave their homes. A ramped-up air campaign seems underway in Lashkar Gah in a bid to force the militants out of the city.
The army commander has said in a voice message that he has taken the “difficult decision” to mitigate civilian casualties in military operations against the militants. On Monday, the US troops conducted airstrikes on Taliban positions in Lashkar Gah killing seven militants, according to Fawad Aman, deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense.
The nightly Allahu Akbar campaign against oppression and cruelty dates back to the brutal ruling of the communist regime and subsequent Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
A Taliban spokesperson, in reaction to Allahu Akbar campaign, has said that the group would continue to attack and a campaign such as this cannot stop their insurgency.
Late on Tuesday evening, the UN Security Council expressed “deep concern” about the high levels of violence in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s offensive attacks and called for an immediate reduction of violence.
The UNSC has condemned in the strongest terms the deplorable attack against the United Nations compound in Herat province on July 30 that killed an Afghan security forces guard and wounded several others.