Sunday, March 04, 2007

War in Afghanistan; also lost?

The world loves America, sort of:

Thousands of angry demonstrators took to the streets in Afghanistan yesterday after US forces were involved in a panicked shooting which left 16 civilians dead and 23 injured.

Local people as well as a number of Afghan officials accused the American marines of opening fire indiscriminately following a suicide bomb attack on their convoy in Nangarhar province.

With protests continuing to grow, and the police coming under attack from stone- throwing crowds, the US military maintained that the casualties were the victims of a "complex ambush" in which gunmen had carried out a synchronised attack following the blast in which a marine was injured.

US propaganda machine; it get's so tiring...

But Mohammad Khan Katawazi, the district chief of Shinwar district, where the deaths took place, insisted that they "treated every car and person along the highway as a potential attacker" as they attempted to speed away from the scene of the explosion.

Abdul Ghafour and Noor Agha Zwak, speaking on behalf of the Nangarhar police and government, and Zemeri Bashary, the Interior Ministry spokesman in Kabul, also claimed the deaths and injuries were due to American fire.

Ahah, so who do we believe? Afghan officials or, the occupiers?

Four months ago, British Royal Marines were also accused of shooting bystanders after their convoy had been hit by a roadside bomb in Kandahar. On that occasion the British authorities maintained that most of those shot had been trying to prevent the convoy from leaving the scene.

The killings in Nangarhar came just a few days after a suicide bombing at Bagram airbase, near Kabul, during a visit by US Vice-President Dick Cheney, killing nine people.

Both the Taliban and Nato forces in Afghanistan had said that a comparative lull in fighting during the winter would be followed by renewed campaigning in the spring.

Yesterday, as crowds blocked roads shouting "death to America" and "death to Karzai", some of those who were injured related their version of what had happened.

Yeah, they really love the American "liberators".

"They were firing everywhere, and they even opened fire on 14 to 15 vehicles passing on the highway," said 38-year-old Tur Gul, who was shot twice in his right hand. "They opened fire on everybody, the ones inside the vehicles and the ones on foot." Some said that they were fired upon although they took care to get out of the way of the departing convoy.

Tur Gul complains because he was mistakenly shot in his hand? Shame on him!

Whole artile: Independent

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