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Civilians killed in Khost protest by accident, Taliban claim

Two individuals were accidentally killed as shots were fired into the air to control the crowd, the group says.


21 Jan 2022

On January 19, the Taliban allegedly killed and wounded several apparent civilians at a protest in Khost city, with reports claiming that three people were killed, and three wounded.

The protest was held at a market by handcart drivers who were reportedly unhappy with the locations they had been given for selling goods.

AW has geolocated the incident to a main street in the city of Khost:

Figure 1: Geolocation of image showing a market in Khost, where multiple people were allegedly shot by the Taliban.

In the immediate aftermath, the Taliban allegedly began arresting people, including those who had taken pictures, according to social media posts.

A pro-Taliban account posted an image showing multiple arrested individuals, along with the text:

Two citizens were killed due to a misunderstanding. In addition to arresting the perpetrators of the incident, intercession was offered to the families and the amnesty was accepted”.
Figure 2: screenshot of pro-Taliban tweet with photograph of alleged arrested individuals

Mostaghfar Gurbaz, Spokesperson of the Khost Chief of Police office, told Radio Azadi that two individuals had been killed, explaining that they had been standing on the rooftop of a market, watching the protests, when they were accidentally hit by shots fired into the air by the Taliban to control the crowd.

He said the Taliban fighters responsible for the firing were arrested and an investigation is underway.

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