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Seven Afghanistan die during protest against unfair food distribution

By News Desk

No fewer than seven persons have been confirmed dead during a protesters over alleged unfair food aid distribution during the coronavirus pandemic Afghanistan.

Among the dead was Ahmad Naveed Khan, a local volunteer radio presenter who was sitting at his nearby shop and hit in the head by a bullet, according to Ahmad Quraishi, Executive Director at the Afghanistan Journalists Centre.

Also, 14 others sustained varying degrees of injuries when the protesters clashed with police in western Ghor province on Saturday.

It was gathered that the exercise, which started peacefully, was sparked by growing unhappiness at the distribution allegedly favouring people with political connections.

Police opened fire during the face-off after some among the around 300 protesters threw stones and started firing guns and trying to enter the governor’s house, said Mohammad Arif Aber, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Ghor.

He put the toll at two dead and five wounded, adding police were among the wounded. He denied that aid was being unfairly distributed.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is looking into the “worrying reports of police firing on protestors”, its chairperson, Shaharzad Akbar, said in a statement on his official social media handle.

The government has been distributing food aid around the country as the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic have led to many job losses and rising food prices.

Akbar told newsmen that the tragedy occurred amid complaints that food aid is being distributed unfairly by the officials in the country.

“We hear repeated complaints from people that the ones who are receiving the limited aid that is there are not the ones that are most deserving, they are the ones who have connections to local authorities or local officials,” she said while adding it was not possible to verify the extent to which this was happening.

Afghanistan has reported 4,033 cases of the coronavirus and 115 deaths.

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