Afghan protest on civilian deaths turns violent, 1 dead

Last Updated: Friday, May 14, 2010 - 15:39

Surkhrod: A civilian was shot dead in eastern Afghanistan on Friday after police fired at thousands of villagers protesting against NATO raids which they said killed 11 civilians overnight, a local official said.

According to a report, villagers said the raids took place in Surkhrod district in Nangarhar province, where Afghan police fired at the crowd after some of them started throwing stones at local government buildings.

Haji Jamal, head of the local provincial council, said one of the protesters had been shot dead.

Earlier, the crowd dragged out the bodies of dead civilians they said had been killed in the raids, demanding an explanation from NATO over the deaths.

Ali Khan, who lives next door to the homes which were raided said he heard helicopters landed at about 1 am (2030 GMT).

"And then the gunshots started. We were terrified and we couldn`t come outside," he said.

"Dozens of Afghan and foreign troops raided three homes and we found out in the morning that nine people were killed and two others are missing," Khan said.

In a statement NATO-led forces confirmed an overnight operation had taken place in the Surkhrod district but denied any civilians were killed and said they killed only insurgents, including a Taliban sub-commander.

"The combined force went to a compound outside the village of Qal`eh-ye Allah Nazar, in the Surkhrod district, after intelligence information verified insurgent activity," the statement said.

"Reports indicate no civilians were harmed during the operation," the statement added, but did not give an exact number of people killed in the raid.

"Dozens of Afghan and foreign troops raided three homes and we found out in the morning that nine people were killed and two others are missing," Khan said.

In a statement NATO-led forces confirmed an overnight operation had taken place in the Surkhrod district but denied any civilians were killed and said they killed only insurgents, including a Taliban sub-commander.

"The combined force went to a compound outside the village of Qal`eh-ye Allah Nazar, in the Surkhrod district, after intelligence information verified insurgent activity," the statement said.

"Reports indicate no civilians were harmed during the operation," the statement added, but did not give an exact number of people killed in the raid.




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