“He died right there in my arms.”

Location: Kabul

Ejaz Malikzada, one of the survivors of Dehmazang Massacre

I remember it was 10:30 a.m. when that I left my home in Kart-e-Parwan and headed for Dehbori.  That’s where I caught up with the demonstration and my university mates.

I am not Hazara. I am from Panjshir province, but I really wanted to be with my friends during the demonstration and raise my voice for justice.
There were some people who were leaving the demonstration; there was some propaganda about it and they did not want to stay.

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Enlightening Movement Protestors – Photo by Ejaz Malikzada

My friend and I were sitting on the low walls in Dehmazang square, and we were talking about the demonstration. At lunchtime we bought some biscuits and water from near the Kabul Zoo. Then we came back and were standing under a flag that hung on a truck leading the demonstration. My friend was telling me, “I have an important responsibility.”  He was in contact with the organizers of the protest, and he said “I will go to the university and call my other friends to join the protest, because most of population are leaving now.”

I told him, “Please stop doing this, because tomorrow the head of the university will kick you out of the university for committing a political crime.”
I just was finding reasons to prevent him from going. During our conversation I was looking around and enjoying the environment. It was a peaceful protest; people were standing shoulder to shoulder and they had unity and respect for each other.

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Enlightening Movement Protestors – Photo by Ejaz Malikzada

We felt secure and never thought this sad incident could happen. Ali Reza, my friend, was talking to me and he said “please let’s go and sit in a corner under a tree because it is so hot.”

We were walking and talking and suddenly we felt the explosion. The shock wave hit us and knocked us down. I heard people screaming and begging for help. I tried to stay on my feet, but I was shocked by what I was seeing and lost my head. I began to scream and shout.

There was a young man trying to stand up. He said “My legs have no power.”

I held him and I felt blood on my hands. He was saying his Kalima (Ashhadu an La Allaha Alalah) and his eyes were open. He died right there in my arms. I closed his eyes and put him in a corner on the ground. There was only one ambulance and the driver was confused as to where to go. He took some of the injured inside the ambulance, but there were so many injured and dead bodies on the street that I became crazy. I do not know how to describe it in words.

Two of Enlightening Movement Protestors Who Were Killed - Photo by Ejaz Malikzada

Two of Enlightening Movement Protestors Who Were Killed – Photo by Ejaz Malikzada

Many of the injured died because the ambulance came late; some died as they were transferred to the ambulance, because their injuries were so severe.

There were three explosions, I remember exactly.  The square was full of fear, the smell of gunpowder and blood. I had never even dreamed of such a terrible scene, and now I was seeing it in for real.

My friend took my hand and said, “there are too many dead bodies and too many injured. I can’t help all of them. Let’s go to my dormitory and change clothes and then you go home.”

We were running to get far away from that area. There were many women there taking pictures and looking for their friends, calling them.
Since that day I am afraid of everything. Even loud voices scare me. I feel that my hands are covered in blood.

There were some policemen there who never even checked the demonstrators. They joined us and they were eating ice cream and just being irresponsible. I still remember the small children who distributed water, dates and bread among people, God knows what happened to them.

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“He died right there in my arms.”

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