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Afghan capital locked down for ethnic demonstration

Afghanistan’s capital is locked down in preparation for a demonstration by members of an ethnic minority group over a proposed power line route.

Organizers said Monday morning that tens of thousands of Hazaras have gathered west of KABUL to march toward the presidential palace.Overnight, police blocked main intersections and access roads into the center of Kabul to prevent protesters from getting near the palace, fearing a repeat of a November demonstration by Hazaras that turned violent.

Daud Naji, a protest leader, said Hazaras are calling for the electricity line to be routed through Bamiyan province, where most of the country’s Hazaras live.
The original plan routed the so-called TUTAP line through Bamiyan, but was changed in 2013 by the previous government. The plan is now six months behind schedule.

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