Clashes erupt after arrest of Afghan Hazara leader

Afghans clash with police after arrest of Hazara militia leader
2 min read
25 November, 2018
Three policemen were shot and wounded and another 20 were hit by stones thrown by the protesters, who torched two police checkpoints in the Afghan capital.

The protesters were demonstrating the arrest of a Hazara leader [Getty]
Hundreds of protesters clashed with police in the Afghan capital this weekend, after the arrest of an ethnic Hazara commander in Afghanistan.

Three policemen were shot and wounded and another 20 were hit by stones thrown by protesters, who torched two police checkpoints, Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said.

"The protesters are using whatever they have in their hands against police, there are armed men among protesters," he said.

The demonstrations erupted after the arrest of Alipur, who leads a Shia militia in the western Ghor province and who goes by one name. It was not immediately clear what he is charged with, but state-allied militias are often accused of extortion and other mafia-like behaviour.

Despite the accusations, the commander holds sway among senior Hazara leaders and is popular within the minority community.

He was arrested in a Hazara area of western Kabul, where a number of suicide attacks by the radical Sunni Islamic State group has fed anger at perceived government indifference to violence against the minority Hazara group.

During a previous attempt to arrest Alipur in June, security forces in Ghor clashed with his followers, leading to the deaths of seven civilians and four police.

Earlier this month, a huge blast struck the Afghan capital, killing at least six people and injuring more taking part in a demonstration by the Hazara community.

They were protesting against the breakdown of security in Afghanistan and continued attacks on Afghanistan's Shia Hazara population by the Taliban and Islamic State group militants.

Protesters dominated the government deploy more troops to Hazara-dominated districts in Ghazni province which have been attacked by the Taliban.