KABUL, Afghanistan—Several hundred demonstrators, some holding photographs of victims of three decades of war, shouted for justice and peace Friday in the Afghan capital, just hours before a suicide car bomber blew himself up in the east, killing two civilians.
The Afghan Interior Ministry said the attacker detonated his car bomb in the Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province.
Although NATO forces have poured troops into the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand and have been making progress in their battle against the Taliban, steady fighting has continued in the eastern provinces where the Haqqani network holds sway. The Haqqani network is a Pakistan-based Taliban faction closely tied to al-Qaida.
In recognition of International Human Rights Day, about 300 people participated in a demonstration in the capital, Kabul, organized by the Social Association of Afghan Justice Seekers.
“In 32 years of war, many people have lost their lives or migrated to other countries,” said Ajab Khan Tanha, who works at the association and helped organize the rally. “These demonstrators want warlords, who are still in power, to be removed from their positions. They want to see a museum created for the victims to keep their memory alive.”
Reha, a 23-year-old woman who uses only one name, said she joined the demonstration because she said women still don’t have equal rights in Afghanistan despite the international community having a presence in the country for years.
“We want to get justice from the government,” she said. “We all know that this government will not listen to us because their hands are covered in the blood of the people, but still we want the international world to listen to our voice.”
In southern Afghanistan, a NATO service member was killed Friday by a roadside bomb, the coalition said. More than 670 U.S. and other international troops have died in Afghanistan so far this year.