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The demonstration — one of the largest in recent years in Afghanistan — highlighted growing discontent at the government’s inability to counter groups such as the Taliban and Islamic State-inspired factions. It also underscored the unease among the country’s minorities, which are increasingly fearful of being targeted by militants.
The protesters, estimated at more than 10,000, were demanding stronger government action to combat what many Afghans fear is a rise in sectarian violence. The Hazaras, an ethnic minority comprising mostly Shiite Muslims, have long suffered persecution under various Afghan governments, particularly during the Taliban’s rule in the 1990s. A spate of violence this year has included several attacks against Hazaras.