4 years after Zanbaq shooting, victims’ families seek justice

KABUL (Tolo News): Some members of the Junbish-e-Rastakhez-e-Taghir or “The Resurrection and Uprising for Change Movement” at an event criticized the government for not following through on investigations into the shooting at Zanbaq Square in downtown Kabul four years ago that killed five people in May 2017.

A string of violent events in 2017 began with a truck bomber detonating his explosives at Zanbaq Square, which has since been renamed Salim Ezedyar Square. Over 150 people were killed and 600 more were wounded. The explosion took place close to the Presidential Palace and in the heart of the diplomatic zone. Mass protests followed in the area but turned violent after security forces opened fire, killing at least five demonstrators. Ezedyar’s son, Mohammad Salim Ezedyar, was among those killed in the shooting.

The next day, however, three suicide bombers targeted the funeral of Ezedyar’s son, and an additional 20 people were killed in back-to-back bombings at the burial ceremony. Ezedyar has now warned that if the government does not act and identify those behind the shooting, he will act and avenge his son’s death.

Members of the movement said that an appellate court was expected to hold a session, but it was delayed once again for unknown reasons. “The case of our martyrs is still faced with ambiguity four years after the incident. This shows that some hands are involved in this case who don’t want the murderers of Afghanistan’s martyrs to be sent to justice,” said Kalimullah Hamsukhan, a member of the movement. “This case is still in court. No progress has been made on it,” said Shamsuddin Hamid, a member of the movement.

The victims’ families said they are seeking a thorough investigation into the incident. “We have graduated from economy and law, but we have a master’s degree in jihad and resistance. If our elders would have allowed us, we would not have let this issue to continue for four years, but our elders want peace and want the problems to be solved peacefully,” said Abdul Bashir Almas, a member of the victim’s family.

“So far, the government has not prosecuted any of those criminals,” said Zia-ul-Haq Naderi, brother of Ejazul-ul-Haq Naderi, who was killed in the incident. The Supreme Court said that the trial will be held next week and that the delay in the court session was due to problems in the activities by the relevant attorney. “People are killed and then they vow prosecution. And then they don’t prosecute them. And then they talk about republic, governance and justice… If it happened, no one would have the courage to open fire on someone,” said Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, the deputy speaker of the Senate.