At least four Afghans were killed Friday when police fired live rounds to disperse stone-throwing protesters seeking to march on the presidential palace to demand the government’s resignation following a catastrophic truck bombing.
Public anger has mounted after an explosives-laden sewage tanker detonated in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter on Wednesday, killing 90 people and wounding more than 400 others in the deadliest attack in Kabul since 2001.
Hundreds of demonstrators calling for President Ashraf Ghani to step down and chanting “Death to the Taliban” clashed with police near the bombing site, prompting officials to respond with live rounds, tear gas and water cannon as the protesters tried to overrun a security cordon.
“In today’s protest four people died and eight others were wounded,” health ministry spokesman Waheed Majrooh said.
Kabul has been on edge since the bombing, which highlighted the ability of militants to strike even in the capital’s most secure district, home to the presidential palace and foreign embassies that are enveloped in a maze of concrete blast walls.
Angry citizens have demanded answers from the government over the perceived intelligence failure leading to the assault, which underscores spiralling insecurity in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the attack.
The Taliban, currently in the midst of their annual “spring offensive”, denied they were involved.