The Afghan Taliban on Thursday condemned the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and lauded last week's deadly attack that resulted in the death of 12 people, hailing the shooters as "heroes."
In a statement released on Thursday, the extremist group lauded the deadly attacks that "punished" the "enemies of humanity," reported Asia One. The statement went on to add that they "strongly condemn this repugnant and inhumane action and consider its perpetrators, those who allowed it and its supporters (to be) the enemies of humanity."
Hailing the two gunmen as "heroes" who meted out punishment for cartoons disrespect to Prophet Muhammad, the Afghan wing of Taliban appreciated them for "bringing the perpetrators of the obscene act to justice."
Hundreds had also rallied on Saturday in southern Afghanistan to express solidarity with the gunmen. Reuters reported that after people went out to protest after completing their Friday prayers at a local mosque in Chora district.
"The protesters were calling the attackers heroes and were shouting that those who had mocked the Prophet Mohammad were punished," Chora Police Chief Abdul Qawi was quoted as saying.
They had also protested President Ashraf Ghani's comments condemning the bloody attack. On the day, following the attacks Ghani had expressed disdain over the incident, saying, "there is no justification for this brutal act."
Although Afghanistan is a deeply conservative Muslim society, and vehement in protecting the religion, many Afghans reacted in horror and dismay after the Paris newspaper attack, saying the insult to Islam did not justify the bloodshed.
Out of solidarity with the people of France, we strongly condemn this barbaric attack on #CharlieHebdo," read one Afghan posting on Twitter, while another posted, "Terrorism has no race, religion or country. Terrorism is everyone's enemy."