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Taliban fighters attack Ashura mourners in Kabul and Ghazni, killing a child

Taliban fighters dispersed Ashura mourners in western Kabul and Ghazni province using aerial shots and physical violence.

According to local sources in Ghazni, a 12 year old child was killed as a result of gunfires by the group’s forces. An unknown number of people have been wounded.

Taliban fighters dispersing mourners in Ghazni.

The group also shut down telecommunications networks in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif early in the morning.

The Taliban has imposed restrictions on the Shia community’s mourning rituals during Muharram this year. These restrictions include banning the display of decorative flags and symbols in public spaces, and limiting the number of places where processions can be held.

Freedom Now, a US-based human rights organization, has criticised the Taliban’s restrictions on Muharram and their violent treatment of Shia mourners, highlighting the group’s apparent lack of tolerance for Afghanistan’s diverse religious communities. The organization urged the Taliban to stop their targeted attacks against the Shia community in Afghanistan.

Earlier, a Shia cleric, Ayatollah Sayed Mohsin Hojjat, asked Shias not to obey the restrictive orders of the Taliban. Hojjat told his followers that the Taliban should respect the Shia faith and “if they impose restrictions on our religious practices, you and I have to defy them.”