Attack on Former Jihadi Leader's House Sparks Protest in Parwan

Following a NATO coalition strike on a weapons’ cache allegedly belonging to former Jihadi leader Jan Mohammad in central Parwan province on Sunday, local supporters of Mohammad mobilized in Charikar city’s streets to express their outrage.

The protestors blocked the Kabul-Mazar Highway for hours on Monday to protest the attack by the foreign coalition. The crowd included young and elderly members of the community, both demanding an investigation into the strike.

“In this holy month, we consider an attack on the house of a Jihadi leader an attack on the whole people of Parwan,” one protestor named Rafi told TOLOnews. “We will not stop pushing the issue.”

Another protestor, Subhanallah, suggested the government should show more of a spine when it comes to overseeing NATO activity in Aghanistan. “The coalition forces should inform the Afghan police and other security agencies when they want to carry out an attack. They should not conduct arbitrary attacks,” he said.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has also expressed concerns about the strike on the residential home, and reportedly asked for a detailed explanation from NATO officials. Jan Mohammad was one of the heads of Abdullah’s election team during the 2014 presidential vote.

Meanwhile, Parwan Police Chief Zaman Mamuzai has said international troops have not permitted the Afghan police to enter the attack site. “Our troops went to the area, but were not allowed to get closer to the site,” he said on Monday. “It is evident that there are lots of unrecovered weapons caches in different parts of the country, so recovering weapon caches is in favor of the Afghan people,” he added, indicating his confidence that the coalition’s claims regarding Jan Mohammad’s property were accurate.

According to witnesses to the strike, NATO troops opened fire on Jan Mohammad’s compound in the Bayan area of Charikar city from the air and ground Sunday. Some said the assault resulted in the destruction of a grain mill as well.

“They attacked the house at night, at around 11.00pm,” an eyewitness named Nizam recounted. “The sky was full of choppers and their tanks were on the ground; we have never seen this many military vehicles before.”

Nizam says the attack continued through dawn, and included several large explosions that caused damage to the surrounding area.

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