Thousands of local residents reportedly gathered in Sharana (Paktika province) on Thursday, April 16, to protest the alleged increase in violent crimes in the province, including targeted killings. According to local sources, at least eight individuals in the past two months have been killed in targeted killings by specific groups. The protest was reportedly held peacefully.
Further demonstrations may occur in the near term and a heightened security presence should be anticipated.
Individuals in Paktika province, and Afghanistan more generally, are advised to avoid all protests as a precaution, monitor the situation, allow ample travel time, and obey instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.