KABUL -- Hundreds of demonstrators chanting "Death to the Taliban" and demanding answers from the government clashed with police Friday (June 2) near the site where a Wednesday (May 31) truck bomb killed 90 people and wounded more than 400 others in the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since 2001.
Police fired live rounds to disperse stone-throwing protesters seeking to march on the presidential palace, killing at least four.
Citizens expressed anger towards the terrorists and demanded answers from the government over the perceived intelligence failure leading to the assault.
Kabul has been on edge since the Wednesday bombing, which highlighted the ability of militants to strike even in the capital's most secure district, home to the presidential palace and foreign embassies enveloped in a maze of concrete blast walls.
"We want justice; we want the perpetrators of the attack to be hanged," Rahila Jafari, a civil society activist, said during the protest.
Afghanistan's intelligence agency has blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the attack, but the Taliban -- in the midst of their annual "spring offensive" -- denied they were involved.
Authorities swept up debris and shards of glass and cleared away the charred carcasses of blown-up vehicles, as shocked residents held emotionally charged funerals.
New security measures
Police are working to bring enhanced security measures to Kabul, including the installation of four security gates at checkpoints into the city, said Kabul police chief Hassan Shah Frogh.
"We are here to serve our nation, and the people are with us," he told reporters in Kabul.
The gates will help secure four major entry points into Kabul, serving as checkpoints for cars and trucks carrying goods from the provinces, he said.
"The gates will be on the way from the east, north, west and south areas of Kabul, where more vehicles are coming from the provinces and outside the country," he said, adding that every gate will have a large area for security forces to search every car or truck before it may enter the city.
Police will carry out clearance operations in areas of suspected insurgent activity, he added.
"Now is the time to stand with the army and national security forces in defending our nation," Afghan MP Abdulqadir Zazai told Salaam Times.
"We are in a very bad situation, but we can move on from here," he said. "We have to raise our voice against radicalism and those groups who are killing our people."
The security forces must come together with one aim: to finish insurgency in Afghanistan, said Afghan military analyst Gen. (ret.) Atiqullah Amarkhil.
"[Eliminating the terrorists] is possible," he told Salaam Times. "Our Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) can move as one, and they have the ability to finish them off."
Police are working with renewed resolve and morale to "fight back the 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' (ISIS) and Taliban, who are killing innocent Afghans", Kabul police officer Rahat Gul told Salaam Times.
"The enemies of the Afghan people cannot face the brave army, so they are hiding in crowded areas and killing innocent people," Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told Salaam Times.
"We will fight hard as our nation needs our help, and we need its support to bring peace and stability," he said.
[Izazullah from Kabul contributed to this report.]