Afghanistan, US troops kill demonstrators


Afghanistan cartoonAFP agency reports:

29/05/2006

KABUL (AFP) – Rioting and gunfire broke out in the centre of the Afghan capital, with violent demonstrations by hundreds of people in the streets after US troops shot dead at least four civilians, witnesses said.

Several volleys of gunfire were heard near the diplomatic quarter as around 1,000 people marched towards the area chanting “Death to America” and “Death to (President Hamid) Karzai”, an AFP reporter said. …

There were reports of other demonstrations and gunfire in other areas of the city, including outside the Serena Hotel, which is just across the road from the presidential palace. Security forces appeared to have stopped all traffic. …

Local media put the number of dead at between 20 and 30 but this could not be immediately confirmed.

An intelligence officer who did not want to be identified said initial reports were that seven people had been killed in the shootout with the US soldiers and nine wounded.

See also here.

Afghan parliament: prosecute US soldiers responsible for this.

Reconstruction in Afghanistan? See here.

See also here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan: here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

The name Unicorn for the Dutch military mission in Uruzgan [Afghanistan] has been scrapped …

The name Unicorn had been chosen as it is uncontroversial and sounds positive to Muslims.

However, in the United States Unicorn is associated to the US gay rights’ organization.

The new name of the mission is Taskforce Uruzgan.

Definitely not all people in the USA hate gay people.

However, the Bush administration does: gay marriage banned, gays banned from armed forces [while the mentally ill are welcome to fight and die in Iraq], police torturing gay people.

While laws in The Netherlands include legal gay marriage, no discrimination of gays in armed forces or elsewhere, etc.

Gay rights, it is often said, are a canary in the coal mine of human rights in general.

Probably, on other human rights issues in Afghanistan, like torture of prisoners at Bagram airbase and elsewhere, the Dutch government’s standards will sink to George W Bush’s level.

You can send a protest e-mail to Dutch Minister of Defence, Henk Kamp, defensievoorlichting@mindef.nl.

Talking about Afghanistan, in another province, supposedly much more quiet than Uruzgan, today, on 14 May 2006, a Dutch military patrol was hit by a roadside bomb, damaging a military vehicle.

Also on this issue: here.

Bagram torture prison in Afghanistan: here.

9 thoughts on “Afghanistan, US troops kill demonstrators

  1. Associated Press
    Afghans Riot After U.S. Accident; 8 Dead
    By AMIR SHAH , 05.29.2006, 04:09 PM

    Violent anti-foreigner protests raged across the capital Monday after a U.S. military truck crashed into traffic, touching off the worst rioting since the Taliban’s ouster. At least eight people died and 107 were injured before Kabul’s streets calmed.

    Chanting “Death to America,” rioters stoned the U.S. convoy involved in the accident then headed to the center of town, ransacking offices of international aid groups and searching for foreigners in a display of rising resentment over civilian deaths in the war against insurgents.

    Gunfire, at times intense, rang out across Kabul as hundreds of young men looted shops and set fire to police cars and station houses. Some people said U.S. and Afghan troops fired on the crowds. Officials said they couldn’t say whether that happened.

    The U.S.-backed Afghan government decreed a nighttime curfew and the city quieted before sunset. Yousuf Stanezai, an Interior Ministry spokesman, warned that anyone found outside between 10 p.m and 4 a.m. would suffer “serious measures.”

    President Hamzid Karzai went on television Monday night to decry the outburst, branding the rioters as troublemakers who should be resisted and linking their violence to the long years of conflict that wrecked Afghanistan.

    “We will recognize as the enemy of Afghanistan these people who do these things,” Karzai said. “You should stand up against these agitators and not let them to destroy our country again.”

    Patience with the 23,000 U.S. soldiers and other foreign troops in Afghanistan is fraying over recent deaths of civilians, including at least 16 people killed by an airstrike targeting Taliban fighters in a village last week.

    The civilian deaths have come during some of the fiercest fighting since a U.S.-led coalition drove the Taliban religious militia from power at the end of 2001, after the regime refused to hand over Osama bin Laden and close al-Qaida camps following the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Much of the bloodshed is in the south, where officials reported a battle Monday killed six militants and wounded five Canadian soldiers. Elsewhere, warplanes of the U.S.- led coalition bombed a suspected Taliban meeting late Sunday and dozens of militants were reported killed, Afghan authorities said.

    While most Afghans support the presence of foreign troops to stabilize a country devastated by a quarter century of war and civil conflict, many also harbor resentment at the outsiders.

    Those feelings have surfaced with increasing regularity in the past year, during violent protests over allegations the Quran was desecrated at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay and the publication in European newspapers of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

    “We don’t want Americans in our country. They don’t care about poor people. They killed innocent people today and this is not the first time,” said Abdul Shakoor, a 28-year-old who joined in the protests after Monday’s traffic accident. “They do it all the time and in the end they say it was a mistake. It’s not acceptable to us anymore.”

    The U.S. military expressed regret for the crash, which it said occurred when a mechanical malfunction sent a large cargo truck careening into about a dozen vehicles at an intersection. The military was investigating the incident.

    The U.S.-led coalition said at least one person was killed and six injured in the crash, while Afghan authorities gave higher but differing tolls. A statement from Karzai’s office said five died in the accident. Police said three were killed and 16 were injured.

    “This was a tragic incident and we deeply regret any deaths or injuries resulting from this incident,” a U.S. military spokesman, Col. Thomas Collins, said in a statement.

    A Kabul police chief, Sher Shah Usafi, said another person was killed when U.S. troops fired into a crowd of stone- throwing protesters soon after the crash. U.S. military officials said they couldn’t confirm that.

    An Associated Press reporter saw Afghan security forces fire at protesters, wounding at least three people.

    Abdullah Fahim, a Health Ministry spokesman, said eight bodies were delivered to hospitals in Kabul and 107 Afghans were treated for injuries. He had no details on how the casualties occurred, and it wasn’t immediately clear if the toll included people from the traffic accident.

    Fahim said there were no foreigners among the dead or wounded.

    The rioting spread from the accident site in northern Kabul to the center of the city, where hundreds of Afghan soldiers and NATO peacekeepers in tanks deployed.

    Chanting protesters marched on the presidential palace and rioters smashed police guard boxes, set fire to police cars and ransacked buildings, including the compound of the aid group CARE International.

    An AP reporter saw demonstrators pull a man who appeared to be a Westerner from a civilian vehicle and beat him. The man escaped and ran to a line of police, who fired gunshots over the heads of the demonstrators.

    Some protesters said they were targeting non-Afghans.

    “Today’s demonstration is because Americans killed innocent people. We will not stop until foreigners leave the city. We are looking for foreigners to kill,” said one protester, Gulam Ghaus.

    AP reporters heard several 20-second bursts of heavy automatic gunfire coming from the direction of the U.S. Embassy. It subsided but shots were then heard sporadically before the city calmed.

    Staff at the U.S. Embassy were moved to a secure location within the heavily fortified compound, said Chris Harris, an embassy spokesman. He had no information on the gunfire heard near the mission.

    A purported Taliban spokesman said the riots showed Americans don’t support Afghanistan.

    “Recent attacks on civilians in southern Afghanistan and today’s firing on people in Kabul show that Americans consider the whole Afghan nation as their enemies,” said Mohammed Hanif, who contacted an AP reporter in Pakistan by satellite phone from an undisclosed location.

    Hanif claims to speak for the hard-line militia but his links to its leadership are unclear.

    Associated Press writers Edward Harris, Daniel Cooney and Rahim Faiez contributed to this report.
    _____________________________________

    World News
    Times Online
    May 29, 2006
    On the spot: ‘Crowd wanted to skin us alive’

    Tim Albone, correspondent for The Times in Kabul, was caught in today’s riots which he believes could mark a turning point in the Afghan’s relations with coalition forces

    “We tried to get out to where the accident happened on the outskirts of the city. I went in an Afghan car with a translator and photographer.

    “We managed to get to within about a half-hour drive of where the accident happened and could hear gunfire. We stopped to ask what was going on.

    “The mob crowded around the car and people were shouting: ‘Let’s get them – let’s skin them alive’. We got out of there pretty quickly and as we were leaving we noticed a car was following behind.

    “As we came onto a roundabout we ducked behind another car, pulled up onto the pavement and managed to lose him, thanks to the skill of our driver.

    “I’ve been in Kabul for nine months and there has never been anything like this before. There is a real feeling in the air that today Kabul changed. There has been a lot of fighting in the south but this has mainly been between the militias and the American forces.

    “Today it was angry teenagers – kids who have got nothing else to do. They are angry because they see all of the money being pumped into Afghanistan but still have no jobs.

    “They are angry at the Americans who they see driving around as if they own the place and who appear to have caused this accident and then tried to drive away.

    “I’ve spoken to friends who work in Iraq and they say that there was one day when it all changed. That could be the case here. They have realised that they can take on the police and take on the Americans – they could easily do it again.

    “When the cartoons of Muhammad were published we saw maybe 300 people on the streets protesting. Today they were there in their thousands. There was gunfire outside the door of the Times office for about an hour, we could hear machine guns crackling.

    “It was quite frightening. We’re only two streets away from the Care International offices which were set alight. We could see the flames.

    “By evening, the security forces appeared to have restored order. It’s now very quiet and there are lots of police around, although interestingly there were no American troops or ISAF [the NATO- led international peacekeeping force] forces.

    “The Americans are saying that this was just one day of unrest, but I was speaking to one guy and he was shouting: ‘Death to America – death to Karzai…’ There is a growing mood that the locals want the Americans to leave but that is simply not possible at the moment.”

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  2. Anti US riot in Kabul brutally repressed
    by the Left Radicals of Afghanistan

    When the residents of the area, saw the sadist killing, and damage, gathered
    immediately and threw stones against US coalition convoy, the angry crowd
    chanted slogans as ” Death to USA”, “Death to occupiers”, “Death to Karzai”,
    “They are plunderers”, “They are murderers”, “Go to your homes”, “We want a
    fair justice for our victims and the perpetrators must be punished and draw
    to an open trial”. While the wrathful crowd were stoning and chanting in the
    incident area before the US- coalition convoy, the US-coalition forces
    opened constantly fire on the disarmed irate people and left more than 87
    death and 256 injured totally. Finally, they succeeded to disperse the
    furious crowd and open way to escape from the spot. But, the suffered people
    once again filled the roads and stood for the revenge.

    The anti US coalition demonstrations were participated by tens of thousands
    people such as school students, wage labourers, youths, unemployed
    individuals and other layers of the society.

    Now, more than 200 youths, students and labourers have been detained and
    facing dreadful investigation and brutal tortures, humiliation and probably
    long period sentences.

    We urgently call upon all local and international Left, workers and anti
    imperialist forces to condemn the massacre by the US forces and express
    their solidarity with the people of Afghanistan under occupation. Please
    demand strongly and urgently the release of all 200 new detainees.

    Send your protest letters to President Karzai: rafiullahjawed@hotmail.com
    and Interior Ministry: Imashal@yahoo.com
    and a copy to Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA): lr_afg@yahoo.com

    End to occupation!
    End to brutal military operations!
    Stop killing of innocent civilians!
    Release all detainees

    Full call for solidarity:
    http://www.antiimperialista.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4483&Item
    id=55

    ***

    3) After US massacre in Kandahar: withdraw occupation troops!
    by Left Radicals of Afghanistan, Jalalabad

    Last week the US and coalition forces under the name of “ISAF” (Assistance
    and Cooperation) heavily air attacked civilian in Panjwai district of
    Kandahar province. The air attacks launched after the armed opposition
    started their military operation against invader forces led by US in
    Kandahar. Following the heavy deadly fighting, that imposed numerous
    casualties to the imperialist forces and local government, made the USA and
    coalition forces wrathful to take revenge in the area where the attacks were
    carried out. So, they turned fire on poor villages of Panjwai where
    according to US and local government resources around one hundred are dead
    and according to people and witnesses that reported to the local
    “independent media” there are hundreds of dead and injured.

    Full document:
    http://www.antiimperialista.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4464&Item
    id=55

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