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Afghanistan

Wed May 11 2005 Attacks Against US Backed Government Increase
8/21/2005: Four US soldiers were killed and three wounded by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.

8/18/2005: Two U.S. soldiers were killed when a homemade bomb hit an American convoy supporting crews improving a road from the main southern city of Kandahar to outlying mountains. A U.S. Marine was killed during battles with militants in eastern Afghanistan. Read More

7/26/2005: Nearly 2,000 Afghans protested Tuesday outside the US air base in Bagram, north of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Chanting “Die America!” the crowd threw stones and tried to break down an outer gate to the base, demanding the release of eight detained villagers. Read More

5/13/2005: At least nine more people - five civilians and four policemen - have been killed in a fourth day of anti-US protests in Afghanistan, officials say. The protests and violence appear to be spreading with reports of disturbances coming from across the country. Read More

5/12/2005: Three protesters will killed as police fired on hundreds of anti-U.S. demonstrators in the town of Khogyani to prevent them from departing toward Jalalabad. In Kabul, more than 200 young men marched from a dormitory block near Kabul University chanting "Death to America!" and carrying banners. Read More

On May 10th 2005 anti-American riots broke out across Afghanistan in response to reports of US use of religion in the humiliation of Afghan prisoners. More than 5000 people took to the streets of Jalalabad. Four Afghan protesters were killed when police opened fire on the crowd and the crowd responded by burning down a governor's office and attacking several UN buildings. There were also protests in the south-eastern city of Khost, and in Laghman province.

The immediate cause of the riots was an article in Newsweek magazine that said investigators probing abuses at Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba had discovered that interrogators "had placed Korans on toilets, and in at least one case flushed a holy book down the toilet". Over the past few months reports have revealed a pattern of sexual humiliation and torture of Afghan prisoners. In his new book "Inside the Wire", Army Sergeant Erik Saar (NPR interview) reveals details of what he saw while he was working at the Guantanamo camp. "One of the most disturbing interrogations Sgt Saar says he saw in his six months at the prison concerned a female interrogator ... He tells how she began peeling off her clothes, taunting the man sexually in an attempt to shame him and stop him relying on his faith for support ... When the interrogator wiped what he thought was menstrual blood on his face, the prisoner raged, almost breaking free from his handcuffs. [the interrogator] taunted him further ... asking whether Allah would be pleased with him and telling him to have fun trying to pray. Finally the detainee was returned to his cell without water, leaving him unable to cleanse himself."

Anger at the US and government of Hamid Karzai has been on the rise for several months. On March 26th four US soldiers were killed in a mine blast southwest of Kabul. On March 29th, a powerful blast ripped through a car near the provincial governor's office in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. On April 2nd, suspected Taliban fighters ambushed a convoy of civilian trucks carrying vehicles to the US military in southern Afghanistan, killing eight of the drivers. On April 6th, a US helicopter crashed in south-eastern Afghanistan killing 16 people, at least four of them American crew. On April 8th Taleban fighters killed five policemen on a main road in the Nawarak area of Zabul province. On April 26th, suspected Taliban fighters ambushed a police convoy in southern Afghanistan, killing four officers and abducting two others. On May 4th nine Afghan soldiers were killed in an ambush by militants in the southern province of Kandahar, as 50 died in 3 days of fighting. On May 7th two people were killed and five wounded when a hand grenade exploded in an internet cafe in central Kabul. On May 9th, two US marines were killed in a battle in eastern Afghanistan in which up to 23 militants are also thought to have died.

Anger at the US over treatment of prisoners and conflicts over Afghanistans huge opium trade, have been compounded by the recently announced push for permanent US bases in the country.

Democracy Now: Afghanistan 3 1/2 Years After the U.S. Invasion | UN Human Rights Investigator in Afghanistan Ousted Under U.S. Pressure | Afghanistan: When Cops Become Robbers

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