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US Forces Fire at Afghan Protestors
by IOL (reposted)
Monday May 29th, 2006 9:18 AM
KABUL, May29 , 2006 ( & News Agencies) – US forces on Monday, May29 , opened fire randomly at thousands of Afghans protesting a fatal traffic incident involving a US convoy.
The Kabul correspondent of the Doha-based satellite channel said at least 30 Afghans were killed and scores wounded in the deadly incident.

A public health ministry official said on condition of anonymity that at least 40 wounded people had been admitted to hospitals, Reuters said.

Other news reports, however, gave other accounts of casualties.

A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said at least seven civilians were killed during the protest.

A Reuters reporter at the scene saw one man shot dead and several wounded people being taken away.

The violence erupted after one civilian were killed and three others wounded when a US military vehicle ploughed into a dozen other vehicles in the capital Kabul.

The incident sent hundreds of men rampaging through the streets of Kabul, hurling stones at the US convoy and smashing vehicle windows.

Afghan police also opened fire when they came to the assistance of the US troops, according to Reuters.

Public Anger

Protesters then marched on parliament and the presidential palace, tearing down a billboard poster of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, smashing windows and looting shops as they went.

"We don't accept Karzai any more as a president. We protest against him: death to Karzai!" shouted Jaweed Agha, one of the protesters.

A Reuters journalist said he saw shops being looted downtown Kabul, and a house belonging to a foreigner and the office of Care International aid group being ransacked.

Several hundred congregated at an intersection leading to the heavily fortified US embassy chanting slogans of "Death to America" and burning American flags.

Several dozen forced their way past a police cordon guarding the road to the US embassy and threw stones at vehicles carrying foreigners, prompting the occupants to fire in the air before turning back.

The US embassy staff were immediately evacuated for fears of being attacked by the protestors.

"Embassy staff have been moved to a secure location. It is a regular procedure during any unrest in the city," US embassy spokesman Chris Harris told Reuters.

Afghanistan's interior ministry has appealed for calm, saying it has set up a team to investigate and find out "what exactly happened".

The US-led coalition also said it was investigating the incident, while Karzai summoned the top commander of the coalition for an explanation.

Monday's violence comes after more than four hundred people were killed in attacks across Afghanistan since Wednesday, May17 .

The US-led forces describe most of the fatalities as Taliban fighters and their supporters, a claim usually challenged by Afghans.

The United States has23 , 000troops in Afghanistan, the highest number since it invaded the country to oust the Taliban regime in late2001 .

NATO is expanding its force from9 , 000to16 ,000, in preparation for taking over security responsibilities in the south from US-led forces.
by BBC (reposted)
Monday May 29th, 2006 9:19 AM
At least seven people have been killed in the Afghan capital Kabul after a traffic accident involving a US military convoy sparked mass rioting.

Hundreds of anti-US protesters clashed with Afghan security forces for two hours, in one of the worst riots since the fall of the Taleban in late 2001.

The protesters moved on to attack buildings in the diplomatic quarter.

There are conflicting reports over whether the US troops in the military convoy fired into the crowd.

Police and armed forces are trying to restore law and order.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for calm and said the government would "do its utmost to protect the lives of the people and their property".

This is the first time there has been such an angry outburst against the US coalition and emotions are still high, says the BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul.

'Tragic accident'

The unrest began after a US military vehicle apparently lost control and smashed into at least 12 civilian cars during morning rush-hour in Kabul's northern suburbs.

Coalition spokesman Col Thomas Collins said a large cargo truck in the US convoy had suffered a mechanical failure, hitting the cars at a busy intersection.

by ALJ
Monday May 29th, 2006 9:41 AM
At least four people have died in riots in Kabul after US and Afghan forces fired on civilians protesting against a fatal car accident involving US soldiers, witnesses say.

Aljazeera's correspondent in the capital described the situation as out of control, with gunfire heard in many areas and with government buildings closed.

An AFP photographer at the scene of the accident on Monday morning said US troops opened fire and killed at least four people. He said two men were shot dead next to him, and two other bodies were found after the burst of gunfire. Several were wounded.

Later in the day, protesters marched to the palace housing Hamid Karzai, the US-backed Afghan president, setting fire to police cars and shouting: "Death to America."

Although marchers were prevented from reaching the presidential palace by security, there are reports that some may have got into the lightly guarded parliament building, the correspondent added.

Staff at the US embassy were moved to a secure location within the heavily fortified embassy while hundreds of Afghan army troops were deployed around Kabul.

Differing accounts

The unrest began in the morning after three US Humvees en route from Bagram ran into a rush-hour traffic jam, hitting several civilian cars, witnesses said.