Afghan women launch rare protest for peace in Taliban stronghold

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan - Dozens of peace activists, including women, have set up tents in the Afghan province of Helmand, after a car bomb killed more than a dozen people outside a sports stadium last week.

In a rare development, women from the ethnic Pashtun-dominated region began protesting alongside men in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah on Tuesday, saying that they would later march to a Taliban-controlled district to demand an end to the war.

"I lost my son in one of these explosions and his family are without any support. I am asking the Taliban to accept our demand for peace," said Khial Bibi, one of the participants at the women's tent.

The protest did not involve government officials or politicians and was a "pure people's movement," said Qais Hashemi, a male protester.

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