Saturday, February 28, 2009

NATO mosque attack sparks Afghan riot

Morning Star Online

(Friday 27 February 2009)
ENOUGH ALREADY: Afghan demonstrators shouting anti-US slogans during a demonstration against the alleged shooting.

ENOUGH ALREADY: Afghan demonstrators shouting anti-US slogans during a demonstration against the alleged shooting.

OVER 500 Afghan protesters blocked roads and fought police on Friday after NATO occupation forces fired gunshots in a village mosque.

In the latest in a series of outrages against the civilian population of the US and NATO-occupied country, Polish forces fired their guns in a mosque in the village of Dhi Khodaidad in Ghazni province.

The crowd threw stones at police and at least three demonstrators were wounded by gunfire before the violence subsided.

An eyewitness said that he had been in the mosque when the troops raided it. He said that the bullets had hit a wall but had not injured anyone.

Deputy Governor Kazim Allayar, who led a delegation that visited the mosque on Friday, said that at least two bullets had hit the door of the building. He added that government officials were due to meet Polish forces to find out if they were involved.

NATO forces said that an initial inquiry had failed to produce reports of troops in Dhi Khodaidad, but they were continuing their investigation.

“We don’t believe there were any forces in the area yesterday,” said a spokesman.

Polish Defence Ministry spokesman Robert Rochowicz claimed that he had “no information at all about any kind of incident concerning Polish troops in Afghanistan.”

He said that he would have been informed if anything had happened.

Amnesty International warned on Thursday that Afghanistan was at a “tipping point” as civilian deaths mount in the country.

A new report by the human rights organisation focused on the case of two brothers who were shot dead in a night-time raid by occupation forces in their home in Kandahar in January 2008.

Amnesty’s report stressed that their killing is a notable example of the lack of accountability of international forces.

The two men, Abdul Habib, a father of six, and Mohammed Ali, a father of five, were shot in their homes at point-blank range in front of their families by occupation forces in camouflage uniforms.

The men were both unarmed. More than a year later, no-one has admitted responsibility despite inquiries by Amnesty International, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston.

NATO and the Romanian Defence Ministry announced the death on Thursday of a Romanian soldier in a roadside bomb in the southern province of Zabul.

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