‘Isis will be looking for targets’: guns and fear mark Afghan Ashura

6000

Source: The Guardian

By  in Kabul

Two months ago, Mohammed Murtaza Turkmeni gathered up his savings and bought his first Kalashnikov. He was born, educated and started a family against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s civil war, but until now the 27-year-old telecoms engineer had never fought or wanted to fight.

This year, he didn’t feel he had a choice. He is one of hundreds of men from Kabul’s Shia population who have taken up arms to protect themselves and their community during Ashura, a ceremony that has been a frequent target for sectarian attacks from Pakistan to Iraq.

“It feels very sad,” said Turkmeni, part of a volunteer group who have been training in the basement of the mosque for weeks. “We are living in a country where every second there is a possibility of attack.”

The gunmen appeared on the streets of Kabul when the 10 days of Ashura commemorations began in mid-September, stark testament to crumbling security, and the devastating rise of sectarianism in a country once spared its ravages.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s