Gunmen kill 3 after brawl over music played at wedding party in Afghanistan, Taliban blame


Three people were shot dead in a wedding ceremony in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province after a scuffle broke out over whether music could be played, residents said.

Ten more people were injured in Friday’s attack, which followed an altercation between the attackers and residents of Sarkharod town, two residents told NBC News.

The two said they recognized the gunmen as local Taliban operatives.

The gunmen “have been harsh in their arguments with the family arranging a wedding ceremony and the local residents,” one of the Sarkharod residents said, speaking on condition of anonymity, as he fears the Taliban may kill him if he speaks openly to the press.

“Their arguments led to an armed clash,” he said, adding that the gunmen “opened fire and killed three people and injured 10 others,” he added.

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Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the attackers were members of the group in a statement on Saturday. But he confirmed that three gunmen killed three people and injured 10 after demanding that a wedding party stop playing music in Nangarhar.

The Taliban had arrested one person and efforts were underway to arrest the other two attackers, he said.

Separately, however, a member of the Taliban’s intelligence service told NBC News that the attackers were members of the group. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The Taliban returned to power in August, after being overthrown by US-led forces in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks when the group refused to reveal the location of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Despite the promises of moderation since the recovery The country’s control, the group that put in place an interim government last month, unleashed a broad and sometimes brutal crackdown as they tried to force many Afghans to adhere to their strict interpretation of Islam.

Journalists have been beaten in the line of duty, girls have been told not to go to school until conditions allow their return, and hundreds of Hazara families have been forcibly evicted from their homes. houses, raising fears that an ethnic minority targeted by the former Taliban regime could be persecuted again.

There is currently no official ban on music in Afghanistan, but the Taliban have launched an awareness campaign to explain to people that listening to music is against Sharia, or Islamic law, the spokesperson said on Saturday. Taliban word, Bilal Karimi.

“In some places our Taliban members are using force to prevent people from listening to music, but we are trying to avoid such incidents,” he said.

In contrast, two senior Taliban leaders in Kabul told NBC News that music is banned in Afghanistan and that anyone who violates the restrictions will be “treated” under Sharia law.

Taliban leaders, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press, did not say what the penalty would be for listening or playing music.

Music was banned when the Taliban imposed a brutal regime on Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, which also seen targeted minorities and women deprived of almost all their rights. The hands of thieves were cut off, and adulterers were stoned.

Over the next two decades, freedom improved dramatically in many – mostly urban – parts of the country. The women returned to the office and the girls to class. Traditional and modern music was also widely distributed.

Many Afghans remain desperate to leave the country, which faces food shortages, as they fear restrictions on individual freedoms will tighten as the Taliban consolidates their control.

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