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Afghan Protesters Defiant Despite Deadly Crackdown


Afghan riot police clashed with demonstrators during an antigovernment protest in Kabul on June 2. At least five people were killed in the violence.

Protesters in Afghanistan are vowing to defy authorities and continue their antigovernment demonstrations despite the bloodiest crackdown on dissent in that country since the overthrow of the Taliban regime 16 years ago.

Afghan security personnel have killed at least six protesters and wounded dozens more in the capital in the past month, as demands at rallies have included the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani's government.

Tensions have been high in Kabul since a truck bomb killed more than 150 people on May 31, the single deadliest attack since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

That brazen attack has triggered a wave of popular anger at the government, culminating in protests, street clashes between demonstrators and police, and sit-in camps across the city.

In the latest confrontation between protesters and police, security personnel on June 20 stormed and dismantled a sit-in camp, prompting a backlash from protesters after police used live rounds. Organizers claimed two protesters were killed, although officials cite just one death.

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