Hundreds of Afghans protest outside Kabul bank amid cash restrictions

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Hundreds of Afghans protest outside Kabul bank amid cash restrictions

As the US airlift winds down, hundreds of protesters, including many Afghan civil servants, gathered outside a bank in Kabul amid a cash shortage in the country.

The civil servants demonstrating Saturday said they hadn’t been paid in months. The protest comes as ATM withdrawals in the country have been restricted to just $200 every 24 hours, causing long lines, the Associated Press reported.

Afghanistan was already in economic crisis when the Taliban swept into power earlier this month. American officials hope it will give the West needed leverage to persuade Afghanistan’s new rulers to form a moderate, inclusive government and allow people to leave after President Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to evacuate all US forces.

The Taliban have said that they want Afghans to stay in the country, pledging amnesty even to those who fought against them. They’ve also claimed that commercial flights will resume after the US withdrawal. It’s unclear if airlines will be willing to offer service.

Bank account holders gather outside a closed bank building in Kabul
ATM withdrawals in the country have been restricted to just $200 every 24 hours.
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images
Afghans wait for hours to try to withdraw money, in front of Kabul Bank
The civil servants demonstrating Saturday said they hadn’t been paid in months.
AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi

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