At least four killed in Taliban crackdown on protests, UN says

At least four killed in Taliban crackdown on protests, UN says

These acts of severe violence appear to be part of a systematic crackdown on anti-government protests, the UN said, and has apparently involved Taliban members breaking up marches by using batons and whips, as well as firing live ammunition.

“We have also received reports of house-to-house search operations to try to identify those who attended certain protests,” UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said during a briefing in Geneva, Switzerland.

In neighbouring Pakistan, the foreign minister said he’s in no hurry to recognize the Taliban government.

“There is awareness that engagement is required, and dialogue for a better understanding can be useful,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters on Friday. “So, I see an interest, a desire, to engage but not a rush to recognize.”

Pakistan has taken in more than a million Afghan refugees since the rise of the Taliban, and it seems likely they will be welcoming more now that NATO forces have pulled out of the country.

One Afghan man recounted his sudden decision to flee, telling CTV National News he once worked for the police in Kabul, but after the Taliban takeover, he left his wife and children behind to come to Islamabad.

On Friday, the second international commercial in as many days lifted off from Kabul airport.

Keeping the airport operational could be seen as a test for Taliban leaders on how quickly they can create a functioning state, and how many Afghans will be blocked from leaving.

The UN will host a donor conference next week to raise aid money for Afghanistan, but it could be a tricky endeavour with most of the world still extremely reluctant to show any support for the new government.

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