Afghan Hazara step up protest after beheadings

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By Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) - Thousands of members of Afghanistan's Hazara ethnic minority demonstrated on Wednesday against government inaction over the killing of seven members of their community by Islamist militants who dumped their partially beheaded bodies. The mainly Shia Hazara have long faced persecution in Afghanistan, with thousands massacred by the Taliban and al Qaeda in the 1990s, but a series of murders and kidnappings this year has stoked a mood of growing despair. The demonstration in a mainly Hazara area in the west of Kabul was peaceful but there was an angry mood in the crowd that was directed both at the Islamist militants blamed for the killings and the government that failed to prevent them.