The second day of protests in Maimana city in Faryab province over the arrest of Afghan Local Police Commander Nizamuddin Qaisari on Wednesday turned violent with eyewitnesses reporting shots being fired.
Eyewitnesses said that large numbers of protesters stormed the NDS office on Wednesday morning and gunfire followed.
The protesters also set fire to parts of the provincial governor compound and security forces vehicles, an eyewitnesses said, but officials did not yet confirmed.
According to eyewitnesses at least two protesters were killed. They said five people were also wounded and have been taken to hospital.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Tahir Rahmani, head of Faryab Provincial Council said that seven protestors were wounded in Wednesday in Maimana city.
Tahir said when the protestors reached the front of the NDS directorate the NDS forces started firing in the air to split up the protestors and as the result seven protestors were wounded.
In the other hand Abdul Karim Yourish spokesman for the Faryab police said that no one had been wounded in Wednesday’s protest.
Rahmani said that thousands of residents protested over Qaisari’s arrest and said they will continue to protest until he is freed.
A number of Junbish-e Mili Party supporters also protested in Balkh, Jawzjan, Sar-e-Pul and Faryab provinces over Qaisari’s arrest and ask for his release.
Hundreds of angry residents took to the streets of Faryab on Tuesday, calling for the immediate release of their “popular” commander Nizamuddin Qaisari, whom they say is key to the security of Qaisar district.
The angry protestors, including women, also burnt tires in Maimana City on Tuesday.
Qaisari was arrested by Afghan Commandos on Monday in Faryab and was immediately taken to Kabul where he is being detained.
The Ministry of Defense meanwhile said Qaisari is under investigation.
“He has been arrested and transferred to the capital (Kabul). Now, we should wait and see what the legal and judicial institutions will decide about him,” the Defense Ministry’s spokesman Mohammad Radmanish told TOLOnews.
Officials from 209 Shaheen Army Corps said Qaisari was arrested by Special Forces during a security meeting after he insulted officials at the meeting.
According to the officials, Qaisari “insulted” the officials in relation to the security of the Maimana-Jawzjan Highway and warned that he will “kill them, will close security departments in the province and will burn them down” – if the road remains insecure.
“Such a move and decision does not benefit the people of Afghanistan especially under the current situation,” said Abdullah Qaraloq, an Afghan lawmaker.
Faryab Military Council meanwhile urged local residents to avoid demonstrations in the province, sources said.
The Islamic National Movement of Afghanistan and the National Coalition for the Salvation of Afghanistan meanwhile also called for the “immediate” release of Qaisari.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, Dostum said if Qaisari is not freed “immediately”, government’s plans, including elections, will face challenges in the north as people are angry about the move.
Members of the coalition will launch demonstrations and will boycott the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections if Qaisari is not freed “immediately”, the coalition said in the statement.