President Ashraf Ghani’s former envoy for reforms and good governance Zia Massoud on Friday joined demonstrators outside Kabul’s Emergency Hospital and organized a sit in protest.
Massoud warned that they would continue demonstrations until government leaders stepped down and an interim government was established.
By early evening there were still between 200 and 300 protesters outside the hospital, where the bodies of those killed at Friday’s rally had been taken. The wounded were also being treated at the same hospital.
The protestors who took to Kabul streets on Friday morning, carried placards with slogans on and also chanted "Down with Ghani".
The demonstration was calm and peaceful for the first two hours when protestors were on their way to Zanbaq Circle. However, it turned violent when they tried to get closer to Wednesday's blast scene and on to the Presidential Palace.
“Our protest today is to awake up the government. We are here to clear the Presidential Palace from Taliban circles who are within the government,” said a female member of the rally.
“For God sake and for the sake of those who you love. Have mercy on the Afghan nation,” another protestor said.
A few hours later, security forces opened fire on protestors.
“You (government) are shooting on demonstrators? Go and shoot on Taliban and other insurgents. Shame on you. You love power. You are not an elected government,” said a female protestor.
Hospital officials earlier revised the death down to five from seven and put the wounded at 15.
Security forces opened fire on the demonstrators near Zanbaq Circle, at the scene of Wednesday’s deadly truck bombing.
This mass rally was in protest against government for failing to prevent attacks in Kabul city following Wednesday's deadly truck bombing in Wazir Akbar Khan area, which is not only in the heart of the city but is also the diplomatic zone. At least 100 people were killed in the explosion and over 600 wounded.
Amnesty International immediately issued a statement condemning the Afghan security forces’ actions against demonstrators and Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, said: “The security forces’ use of excessive and fatal force on protesters voicing anger over one of Afghanistan’s deadliest attacks ever illustrates the authorities’ contempt for the lives of ordinary people.
“While there are reports that a minority of protesters used violence including throwing stones at the police, this does not justify such an excessive and deadly response,” said Patnaik.
“The people of Afghanistan deserve justice and there should immediately be an independent and effective investigation into the bombing so that the perpetrators can be held accountable,” he added.
“The authorities must also investigate the unlawful use of force against protesters and ensure that those responsible for deaths during the protest are brought to justice in fair trials.”