Kabul [Afghanistan], February 22 (ANI): Expressing their ire over the US' decision to preserve billions of frozen assets for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, a number of Afghan men and women held protests on Monday, reported local media.
Urging the United States court to reject any decision over Afghanistan's assets, a group of Afghan women in Kabul gathered near the United Nations office. The demonstrators demanded the return of the assets to Afghanistan, Tolo News reported.
"This money is Afghans' money, not money to pay as compensation by Joe Biden. The money should be surrendered to Afghanistan," the Afghan news agency quoted Arzo, a protester, as saying.
Another protester, Shogofa Nejta, said that the money can change the situation in Afghanistan, where people are struggling with poverty.
Residents of Bamyan province also held demonstrations to urge the release of Afghanistan Central Bank's assets held in the US and other countries.
Several Afghan teachers at Shaikh Zayed University in Khost province also staged a protest and called Biden's decision 'unfair'.
"This is a cruelty, they do not have the right to hold Afghanistan's money as compensation," Tolo News reported quoting Rabani Wahdat, a teacher.
Afghan currency will dramatically lose value if the frozen assets are spent for any purpose and not returned to Afghanistan, the media outlet reported citing experts.
Earlier, the Taliban had warned that it will 'reconsider' policy towards the US if it does not receive full USD 7 billion frozen assets.
US President Joe Biden on Friday decided to split USD 7 billion of the frozen Afghan assets to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and compensate victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan, at the time of the September 11 attacks, harboured Osama bin Laden, the head of the Al-Qaida terrorist network and mastermind of the US attacks.
A US-led invasion of Afghanistan weeks after the attacks overthrew the Taliban after they refused Washington's demands to surrender Bin Laden.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan last August ended the nearly 20-year war, but the United Nations and other international relief groups say Afghanistan faces one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, which stems from more than four decades of conflict and natural calamities, reported Voice of America (VOA).
More than half of the country's poverty-stricken population, or an estimated 24 million Afghans, face an acute food shortage and some one million children under five years of age could die from hunger by the end of this year, according to UN estimates following the US withdrawal from the country. (ANI)