The Afghan president and the top United Nations representative to the country appealed for calm after four people were reported killed amid confrontations between police and antigovernment protesters in Kabul.
Meanwhile, a leading human rights group criticized the use of “excessive” force on the protesters, who were demanding the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani’s government two days after a deadly truck-bomb blast in the Afghan capital.
“Peaceful protest is the civic right of the people and the government supports that,” said a statement issued by Ghani’s office several hours after the June 2 violence erupted.
It added that the Afghan government is committed to listening to people’s demands and that it will consider “logical demands” after receiving them.
The statement also said that the government “regrets” the deaths and injuries of a number of citizens at the protest.
The UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, also appealed for restraint in a statement.
The anger expressed by the protesters is “fully understandable,” said Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
But he added that “this tragic week has already added too much civilian suffering to Afghanistan, and further violence will not solve any problems.”
“I strongly discourage any actor from seeking opportunistically to use these very emotional and fragile moments to destabilize the situation and risk further harm to civilians,” the UN envoy also said.
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RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan
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