Nov. 26 (UPI) -- An Afghan militia leader was released from custody on Monday after his followers clashed with police following his arrest.
The Haraza man known as Commander Alipur, leader of a Shia militia in Afghanistan's western Ghor province, was arrested last week. While it was not clear what the charges were, leaders of militias aligned with the Afghan government are occasionally arrested on charges of extortion and behavior similar to that of organized crime. Despite the allegations, Alipur holds influence in the country's Hazara community.
His armed group was formed three years ago after several Hazara civilians were killed in attacks by radical Sunnis of the Islamic State. The deaths underscored the Hazara's contention that the Afghan government has been indifferent to the protection of the Hazara minority population.
After Alipur's arrest, hundreds of protesters clashed with police in Kabul. Three police officers were shot and another 20 were injured by thrown rocks and stones. Two police checkpoints in the capital were also burned, said Basir Mujahid, Kabul policer spokesman.
In June, police attempted to arrest Alipur, leading to a clash resulting in the deaths of seven of his followers and four police officers. Earlier in November, at least six people died when Kabul was struck by an explosion during a pro-Hazara rally.