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The 3 Hoot uprising (Persian: قیام 3 حوت‎, Qeyam-e 3 Hut) refers to a week of civil unrest in Kabul, Afghanistan that started on February 22, 1980, occurring two months after the Soviet intervention.[1] It is named after the date and month it started in the Persian calendar. A series of mass arrests by the Babrak Karmal-led Democratic Republic of Afghanistan triggered protests and a popular uprising against the government. Thousands of civilians, including Islamists, traditional Islamists, and leftists took part.


Demonstrations were held across the whole city against the Parcham government and against the Soviet occupation. Many residents chanted Allahu Akbar whilst the military fired rockets in the air to silent them. Protesters peacefully marched through streets, chanting religious and anti-Soviet messages. They were asked by security forces' loudspeakers to disperse, but they refused. Security forces then started firing at the protesters, and subsequently Soviet tanks were sent to quell the demonstrators. After six days of unrest, 600 civilians were estimated to have been killed in clashes.[2]

It is not clear if the uprising was organized. It has been claimed that various organizations were involved, including the Maoist group Liberation Organization of the People of Afghanistan (SAMA). Others claim it to have been a spontaneous uprising by the "people of Kabul".[3]

Government forces arrested 200 people on the eve of the revolt, and about 5,000 were arrested in the next few weeks. A number of Khalqists were also arrested, resulting in some residents not daring anymore to rise up. Many of the arrested were disappeared. The leader of SAMA, Abdul Majid Kalakani, was later arrested and executed.

The government blamed the uprising on agents from Pakistan, China and the United States. The event further isolated the government from the people. In the coming months, many "student uprisings" took place at Kabul University and other student institutions between pro-Khalqists, nationalists, anti-Marxists, and Islamic fundamentalists, which also resulted in clashes and arrests.[4]


  1. ^ "The Kabul Times - 3rd Hoot uprising; a millstone in Afghanistan's freedom-fighting history against invaders". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  2. ^ "The First Urban Protest against the Soviet Occupation: The February 1980 Kabul Uprising | Afghanistan Analysts Network". Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  3. ^ "به پاس قیام سوم حوت 1358". Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  4. ^ Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982 by Mohammed Kakar