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Afghan police open fire on protesters demanding coronavirus aid packages

At least three people were killed and several others wounded in Afghanistan’s Ghor province on Saturday during a protest against mismanagement of aid to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, officials said.

The protesters accused the government of unfairly distributing aid packages provided by a charity.

According to the Provincial Councilor, Abdul Basir Qaderi, hundreds of poorer people demonstrated in front of the governor’s office in the provincial capital Firuzkoh, saying they had not received the aid packages.

Qaderi added that Police opened fire after protesters damaged government installations with stones and attacked the security forces. Warning shots and water cannon had failed to disperse the protesters.

“The city is in a military situation now. There are tanks on the roads,” Qaderi said.

A spokesman for the provincial governor said that gunmen were seen among the protesters.

Ghor is one of the most deprived, undeveloped, and insecure provinces in the country.

Afghanistan has begun free distribution of bread at bakeries for the poor and needy as the coronavirus lockdown continues nationwide.

However, there had been about 4,000 confirmed cases out of a total of over 15,000 tests conducted.

The World Bank noted that in addition to security and political uncertainties, the global pandemic and high rate of poverty had caused major challenges to Afghanistan

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