Numerous civil society groups are planning to hold a demonstration in Kabul on Friday, June 2. According to local reports, participants will start at multiple locations and march towards Zanbaq Square. Gatherings are expected to start in the following locations around 08:00 (local time) before proceeding to the square; Saraishamali Square, Dahmazing Square, Mazari Square, and Abdul Haq Square. Expect increased security measures and localized traffic disruptions.
The demonstrators are expected to hold a prayer ceremony for the victims of the suicide bombing that occurred on Wednesday, May 31. According to officials, up to 100 people were killed and over 400 others were injured after a bomb exploded near the German Embassy and the Afghan presidential palace, located in the Wazir Akbar Khan area at the center of Kabul’s highly secured “Green Zone.” It is unclear who is responsible for the attack.
This attack takes place during the holy month of Ramadan (May 26-June 25). Typically, there is a heightened terror threat during this period in Afghanistan; IS has in the past called on members to perpetrate attacks during Ramadan and some regional terrorist groups have followed suit. Furthermore, the Taliban, widely present in the region, announced the official start of their yearly spring offensive in late April, an announcement typically followed by a nationwide surge in attacks.
Individuals in Kabul are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations, expected increased security measures, and to allow additional time to travel.
As always, due to major security concerns individuals throughout Afghanistan are urged to keep a safe distance from large gatherings, military convoys, government buildings, and crowded urban areas. Many Western governments advise their citizens against travel to Afghanistan due to the high threat of kidnapping and terrorism, including frequent attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, local civilians and politicians, and individuals working in the humanitarian and reconstruction fields. Travel to the country should only be undertaken with proper security protocols in place.