KABUL (Pajhwok): One person was killed and a child was injured after gunmen loyal to a lawmaker opened fire at supporters of a rival lawmaker in the Pul-i-Charkhi area east of Kabul on Wednesday afternoon, eyewitnesses said.
They said bodyguards of Allah Gul Mujahid, a lower house member from Kabul, opened fire at supporters of Mullah Tarakhel, a Kuchi tribe representative in the Wolesi Jirga.
“It was about 4 pm when Allah Gul Mujahid’s men passing through the area in vehicles opened fire at some supporters of Tarakhel who were standing on the side of the road,” said Agha Jan, an eyewitness.
However, a passerby was killed and a child was injured in the indiscriminate firing. Aghan Jan identified the slain person as Azim, a resident of Laghman province. Azim plied a Rickshaw in the Pul-i-Charkhi locality.
However, Allah Gul Mujahid rejected his bodyguards had fired shots, saying they were returning from Dr. Abdullah’s press conference when shots were fired at his vehicle, but he escaped unhurt. He accused Tarakhel’s bodyguards of attacking him.
On the other hand, Haji Shah Wali Dastyar, a secretary to Mullah Tarakhel, said no one from their side was present in the area when the incident happened.
He said gunmen travelling in a wedding party procession fired into the air in celebration while crossing the area.
After the incident, hundreds of people staged a protest blocking the Kabul-Jalalabad highway at 4:15.
The road remained blocked and the protestors had placed the body of Azim in the middle of the road.
A relative of the decease, Mohammad Nazir, told Pajhwok Afghan News that it was not for the first time that civilians were killed and wounded during clashes between gunmen loyal to the two lawmakers.
He asked the government to disarm the two lawmakers and bring to justice those involved in the latest firing incident.
Sardar Mohammad, who took part in the protest, said they would not unblock the Kabul-Jalalabad road until police acted to disarm the two lawmakers.
A passenger, Nabi, said the protest left a large number of vehicles stranded.
The protestors chanted “death to Allah Gul Mujahid, “death to Maulvi Tarakhel” “death to Dr. Abdullah” and “death to Ashraf Ghani”.