Afghan students demonstrate against NATO killing civilians

This video from Afghanistan says about itself:

People of Jalalabad stage rally in support of Malalai Joya

May 25, 2007, Ariana TV report the demo staged in eastern city of Jalalabad in suppot of Joya and against warlords.

Afghan students have rallied in Jalalabad and threatened to “take up guns instead of pens and fight occupation forces” if the Karzai regime fails to stop the indiscriminate killing of civilians by occupation troops: here.

Children’s deaths spark anti-US outrage in Afghanistan: here.

As an Afghan in 2001, I thought the US and its allies would take its reconstruction duties seriously. They did not: here.

4 thoughts on “Afghan students demonstrate against NATO killing civilians

  1. Protest erupt over civilian deaths in Afghanistan

    Agence France-Presse

    Jalalabad, Afghanistan, December 30, 2009

    First Published: 14:32 IST(30/12/2009)
    Last Updated: 14:44 IST(30/12/2009)

    Protesters took to the streets in Afghanistan on Wednesday, shouting “death to Obama” and voicing outrage over civilian deaths during Western military operations.

    Hundreds of university students blocked main roads in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Nangahar province, to protest over the alleged deaths of 10 civilians, mostly school children, in a Western military operation on Saturday.

    “The government must prevent such unilateral operations otherwise we will take guns instead of pens and fight against them (foreign forces),” students from the University of Nangahar’s education faculty said in a statement.
    Marching through the main street of Jalalabad, the students chanted “death to Obama” and “death to foreign forces,” witnesses said.

    “Our demonstration is against those foreigners who have come to our country,” Safiullah Aminzai, a student organiser, told AFP. “They have not brought democracy to Afghanistan but they are killing our religious scholars and children.”

    A protest was also planned in Kabul against the “killing of civilians, especially the recent killing of students in Kunar by foreign forces,” said organisers from the youth wing of Jamiat Eslah, or the Afghan Society for Social Reform and Development.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai “strongly condemned” the deaths — which have not been confirmed by either NATO or the US military — and ordered an immediate investigation.

    “Initial reports indicate that in a series of operations by international forces in Kunar province, 10 civilians, eight of them school students, have been killed,” the statement said.

    The operations in Kunar, which borders Pakistan, are being led by US Special Forces, a senior Western military official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “They have been killing a lot of Taliban members and capturing a lot of Taliban members,” the official said.

    The operations were conducted independently of the more than 110,000 NATO and coalition forces fighting to eradicate the Taliban, he said. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), asked to comment on reports of the Kunar deaths, said it had no activities in the region at the time. US Special Forces operate separately from ISAF.


  2. Afghans protest civilian deaths in foreign raid

    Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:15pm IST

    By Amin Jalali

    ASADABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against the killing of 10 civilians, mostly teenagers, in a raid by foreign forces, which heightened tensions between the Afghan government and NATO.

    President Hamid Karzai rapidly condemned the attack and ordered an investigation, but his high-profile denunciation comes at a time when there are signs that foreign forces’ efforts to reduce civilian deaths may finally be having some effect.

    Karzai’s relationship with the West has already soured following his fraud-ridden re-election in August and he is under mounting pressure to stamp out widespread government graft.

    However, he is also under domestic pressure to do more to rein in foreign troops. Civilian casualties in previous attacks by NATO-led forces have stoked public anger towards both Westerners and the Afghan government they are backing.

    Asadullah Wafa, head of the presidential delegation sent to investigate the weekend attack in Kunar province, one of the most remote and unstable corners in the east, said on Wednesday he had confirmed there were no insurgents among the dead.

    “Those people that were killed were innocent civilians,” Wafa told reporters. The victims were eight boys, aged between 13 and 18, and two men in their 20s, he added.

    Wafa said foreign troops had been airlifted in for the attack, resolving some confusion about an operation which had previously been described by senior officials as both an airstrike and a “commando-style” raid.

    NATO-led forces said the raid was a joint operation and it was still under investigation, but Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimy said Afghan troops had not taken part.


    Violence in Afghanistan is at its highest level in the eight years since the ouster of the Taliban. More than 2,000 civilians were killed in the first 10 months of this year, a 10 percent rise on the same period in 2008, according to U.N. figures.

    But while total numbers of civilian casualties have risen year on year, the number of ordinary Afghans killed by Afghan and foreign forces decreased this year.

    Seventy percent of civilians killed in the first 10 months of 2009 died in insurgent attacks, the United Nations said, up from 55 percent last year. Civilian deaths caused by foreign and Afghan troops fell from 38 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2009.

    “We attribute this to concerted efforts on the part of the military forces to put civilians at the fore of military planning,” said U.N. spokesman Aleem Siddique.

    There are around 110,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan and Washington is sending in 30,000 more to try and quell the mounting violence. Other NATO countries are sending 7,000 more.

    Since taking command in June, the commander of foreign troops, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, has issued new orders designed to reduce civilian deaths by placing limits on the use of firepower.

    But for most Afghans, civilian deaths will continue to be an emotive issue.

    In Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, which borders Kunar, around 200 university students rallied in the streets to protest, demanding those responsible for the weekend attack be brought to justice.

    “We have no more patience. It has happened repeatedly. If it occurs again, we will drop our pens and take arms,” one group chanted. Others blamed Karzai and U.S. President Barack Obama.

    “Death to Obama. Down with Karzai,” they shouted.

    In Kabul, a crowd of around a hundred, mostly young men, gathered in a western district to vent their frustration at the killings.

    “Obama! Obama! Take your soldiers out of Afghanistan!” the protesters chanted, wearing blue headbands with the words: “Stop killing us!” Others held placards with pictures of young dead children they said were killed by foreign troops.

    (Additional reporting by Sayed Salahuddin and Emma Graham-Harrison in KABUL; Writing by Jonathon Burch; Editing by Nick Macfie)

    © Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved


  3. Poll: Canadians say the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable

    By Andrew Moran

    Dec 30, 2009

    A recent telephone survey suggests that 66 per cent of Canadians believe the military build-up in Afghanistan will not defeat the Taliban, while only 34 per cent think the war in Afghanistan can be won.
    As the war in Afghanistan enters its ninth year and still continues, violence going up and military presence increases, majority of Canadians believe that it’s pointless because it’s unwinnable. A new survey released on Tuesday by Ipsos Reid shows that 66 per cent of Canadians think the war in unwinnable, according to AFP. While the people who do think the war is winnable remains in the low 30s.
    Two-thirds of telephone respondents disagreed with the statement: “the build-up of troops will ultimately create a military victory over the Taliban.” Canadians remain pessimistic even though United States President Barack Obama will send an additional 30,000 troops to the region and NATO also will send several thousand more.
    Press TV notes that Canada has 2,800 soldiers in the southern Kandahar province but 134 soldiers have died since they entered in 2002.
    Senior Vice President of Ipsos Reid Public Affairs, John Wright, said, reports, “An all-out sense that 30,000 extra troops are going to defeat the enemy, I don’t think people are buying that. We do have some benchmarks I suppose and that would be the election of the Karzai government. But even there it seems to be fraught with fraud and accusations that it’s completely riddled with corruption.”
    Nevertheless, Afghanistan Commander General Stanley McChrystal recently told Ottawa that by the time US forces withdraw in July 2011, Taliban militants and insurgents “will have been reversed.”
    The telephone survey was conducted on behalf of Canwest News Service and Global National between Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 with 1,038 adults and contains a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.


  4. Pingback: US private death squads in Afghanistan, Pakistan | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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