Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Afghans call for end to US occupation

Morning Star Online, Sunday 22 March 2009

HUNDREDS of Afghan citizens rallied for an end to the occupation of their country on Sunday after US-led forces killed five civilians in Kunduz Province.

According to Afghan officials, US soldiers broke into the house of Imam Sahib Mayor Abdul Manan before dawn and killed two of his bodyguards and three other employees including a cook and a driver.

The US insisted that the morning raid had targeted a “terrorist network” and asserted that the five killed in the operation were insurgents.

The Pentagon released a statement which asserted that the raid had involved Afghan police and targeted a “terrorist network.”

But a senior Imam Sahib official rejected the suggestion, saying that Afghan police were neither involved in the operation nor aware of it.

And Kunduz governor Juma Din claimed that all the victims of the attack had been local-government employees.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said only that “five of our countrymen” had been killed in the mayor’s house and a spokesman declined to label them as either militants or civilians.

Deputy provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Akhtash said that about 300 people had gathered in Imam Sahib to protest against the raid and the increasingly bloody occupation.

US and NATO officials insist that they are doing all they can to limit civilian casualties and observe that guerillas regularly operate in residential areas.

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