Witnesses said that an explosion hit a Taliban vehicle in Jalalabad in eastern province. Hospital officials stated that five people died in the second deadly blast in the Islamic State stronghold.
Another sign that the Taliban, who took control of Kabul last month, are trying to enforce their strict interpretation of Islam, despite promises from some to be inclusive and tolerant is the decision to bar most female city workers from returning home to their jobs. The Taliban had previously banned women and girls from public schools, jobs, and public life under their 1990s rule.
Recent decrees by the Taliban government have rewritten the rights of women and girls. The Taliban government informed female high-school students that they couldn't return to school at the moment, while male students in those grades returned to school this weekend. The university informed female students that their studies would be in gender-segregated environments and that they had to adhere to strict Islamic dress codes. University studies were co-ed under the Taliban-backed U.S. government.
Friday saw the Taliban close down the Women's Affairs Ministry. They replaced it with a ministry to "propagation and prevention of vice", which is charged with the enforcement of Islamic law.
A little more than a dozen women protested outside the ministry on Sunday, holding signs demanding women be included in public life. One sign stated that "a society in which women don't actively participate is (sic), dead society."
The protest lasted about ten minutes. After a brief verbal exchange with a man the women got in cars and fled. Two Taliban cars were nearby. In the months that followed, Taliban fighters had violated several women's protests with force.
A news conference was held in the basement of a Kabul home by about 30 young women. Marzia Ahmadi (a rights activist who is also a government employee) said that they will demand that the Taliban open public spaces for women.
She said, "It's their right." We want to speak to them. "We want to inform them that we have the exact same rights as them."
The majority of participants stated that they would leave the country if given the chance.
Sunday's explosion in Jalalabad was second in two days targeting the Taliban in the Islamic State group stronghold. Both the Taliban and IS extremists were enemies. They fought each other before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last month.
Officials at Jalalabad's hospital said that they had received five bodies from the explosion. Two civilians, including one child, were among the victims. Three others were also killed in the explosion, according to witnesses. They were traveling in a vehicle belonging to border police and are believed to be Taliban.
They were not available immediately to comment on possible casualties within their ranks.
Three explosions struck Taliban vehicles in Jalalabad on Saturday, killing three and injuring 20 others, witnesses reported. No immediate claim was made of the responsibility.
The Taliban are facing serious economic and security issues as they try to govern. IS militants will increase their challenges.
On Sunday, the interim Kabul Mayor Hamdullah Namony also gave his first news conference after being appointed by Taliban.
He stated that women made up less than one-third of the city's nearly 3,000 employees before the Taliban tookover and that they had worked in every department.
Namony stated that female employees were asked to remain home while they await a decision. Namony said that exceptions were made to accommodate women who couldn't be replaced by men. This included those in the engineering and design departments as well as the attendants at public toilets for females. Namony didn't say how many female employees were made to leave.
He said, "There are certain areas that men cannot do it, so we must ask our female staff for their duties, there's no other way."
Women in Afghanistan have been advised to avoid working in the private and public sectors. The Taliban have yet to announce a uniform policy. The remarks by Kabul's mayor were very specific and affected large numbers of female workers who had previously been responsible for running a city with more than 5,000,000 people.
Namony said that the new government had begun to remove security barriers in Kabul. This city has been subject to frequent bombings and shooting attacks over many years. These barriers were erected close to ministries, embassies, and private homes of politicians or warlords. They have been a common feature in Kabul for many years.
The mayor stated that private citizens would be responsible for the removal of the barriers. Although he claimed that most barriers were gone, reporters who toured the city noticed that some barriers still remained outside embassies and government buildings.
In the hope of gaining support from a skeptical public, the Taliban have attempted to present themselves as security guarantors. The rise in crime was a concern for Afghans under the previous government.
The accelerated economic downturn is perhaps the most difficult challenge for the Taliban rulers. Afghanistan had many problems before the Taliban took over. These included large-scale poverty and a heavy reliance on foreign aid to support the state budget.
As a sign that Kabul is experiencing increasing desperation, there have been street markets in Kabul. Residents are selling their possessions. Many of the sellers are Afghans looking to flee the country. Others are forced to sell their shabby belongings to make enough money to buy food for the next meal.
"Our people need help, jobs are needed, they need immediate assistance, they're not selling their house for profit here," stated Zahid Ismail Khan from Kabul, who was looking at the activities in an impromptu market.
He said, "For a brief-term people might attempt to find a means to live, but they would not have any other choice than to turn to beggaring in the longer term."