Clashing Reports Concerning Ashura Day Casualties in Ghazni Province
There are conflicting reports regarding casualties caused by Taliban gunfire on mourners during the Ashura day in Ghazni province. While some local sources confirmed the death of four people and injuries to 33 others, others reported only two deaths and nearly 15 injuries.
The Deceased: Ghulam Ali and Ramadan
According to sources, among the deceased were two children. A 12-year-old child was reportedly killed during the incident. The identities of the deceased were said to be Ghulam Ali and Ramadan, both natives of Bamyan and Nahur in Ghazni.
Injuries and Assaults
The sources indicated that of the 15 reported injuries, seven were gunshot wounds and eight were sustained from physical assault by Taliban forces. The Taliban also reportedly used water cannons to disperse the mourners, causing skin irritation in some individuals.
Depiction of Violence on Social Media
Footage of the Taliban firing at mourners and beating them in Ghazni has been circulated on social media. One highly disturbing video shows a child falling to the ground after being shot by Taliban forces.
Hospitalization of Casualties and Official Response
Those injured were transferred to civilian hospitals in Ghazni city, including Imam Khomeini Hospital, for treatment. In a statement, the Taliban governor’s office in Ghazni has controversially labeled the Ashura day mourners as “rioters” and accused them of disturbing the security situation.
The Ashura Commemorations
Despite the restrictions imposed by the Taliban on the Ashura commemorations this year in Afghanistan, ceremonies were held in mosques and prayer houses in Kabul and other cities and provinces, including Ghazni. Videos on social media show Taliban forces violently clashing with Ashura mourners in Kabul and resorting to aerial firing to disperse them. The Taliban justified the restrictions on the Ashura commemorations as necessary for “providing security and taking more precautionary measures.”
Conclusion: A Nation in Distress
The differing reports and the violent incidents during the Ashura commemorations highlight the volatile situation in Afghanistan. The conflict continues to result in loss of innocent lives and unrest among the population. The Ashura day, a sacred day for Shia Muslims, has been marred with violence and strife, leaving the nation and the world in a state of distress and deep concern.
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