Thousands of people marched through an eastern Afghan town Thursday shouting "Die terrorists" to protest against the Taliban for allegedly killing a top Muslim cleric in a mosque bombing, officials said. Mohammed Akbar Zadran, a government district chief, put the number of protesters at 4,000.
It was one of the biggest anti-Taliban demonstrations since US-led forces ousted the fundamentalist regime in late 2001 for harboring Osama bin Laden. The demonstration occurred in Khost province, an area plagued by insurgent violence.
Cleric Mohammad Khan was killed, and 18 worshippers were wounded last Friday when a bomb exploded in his mosque in Khost. Khan actively supported President Hamid Karzai's US-backed government and often denounced the Taliban.
Since his death, two other pro-government clerics have been shot dead by suspected Taliban rebels in an attack marking the latest in a string of attacks on Afghanistan's Muslim leaders.