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A Taliban check points in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Thursday. Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several more Afghans have died during a rally due to the Taliban firing on them — this time in the city of Asadabad on Thursday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Witnesses said the Taliban shot at the group as they waved the national flag while celebrating Afghan Independence Day, when the country celebrates the anniversary of the 1919 treaty that ended British rule.

What's new: Witness Mohammed Salim told Reuters "hundreds" of people took to the streets for the latest rally, but it wasn't clear whether the deaths were the result of the Taliban's gunfire or the stampede that it caused.

The big picture: Despite the Taliban assuring the U.S. the new government would allow safe passage of civilians to the airport in Kabul, it has instituted checkpoints outside its perimeter and have been violently pushing back those seeking entry, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • The Taliban unleashed rounds of gunfire into the air and beat families seeking entry, the Journal reports.
  • The chaos and violence succeeded in thinning out the crowds of Afghans trying to enter the airport, CNN reports.

Meanwhile, ousted Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who's declared himself Afghanistan's "caretake president" from the Panjshir Valley — the last Taliban holdout — praised the protesters on Thursday for their "courageous and patriotic movement."

  • Saleh is part of an opposition group in the valley, north of Kabul in the Hindu Kush, which is seeking to revive the Northern Alliance, which helped the U.S. oust the Taliban in 2001.

What to watch: The pockets of resistance mark the first challenges to the Taliban's grip on power since declaring victory after ousting Afghanistan's democratically elected government.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include details of the latest protest and subsequent fatal shooting, the demonstration in Khost, resistance in the Panjshir valley and Saleh's praise of the protesters.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - World

WHO, UNICEF to launch polio vaccine drive in Afghanistan

Afghan boys return to their homes after attending school in Chashma Dozak area of Badghis province on Oct. 16. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will launch a house-to-house vaccination campaign to inoculate children in Afghanistan against polio, the UN announced Monday.

Why it matters: The campaign, which begins Nov. 8 with the Taliban's backing, is the first such vaccine drive in over three years to reach all Afghan children, the press release noted.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
23 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.