Karzai meets US commander after bloody Afghan protests

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 21:37

Kabul: President Hamid Karzai met the US
commander of foreign troops in Afghanistan General David
Petraeus on Wednesday over a NATO-led operation which triggered
violent protests in which 17 people died.

The protests happened earlier this month in Taloqan,
capital of the usually peaceful northern province of Takhar,
after an international operation targeting insurgents left
four people dead, including two women.

Local people took to the streets to insist they were
civilians in violent demonstrations in which 17 people were
killed and 79 others injured amid clashes with security
forces.

Karzai`s office said in a statement before the meeting
with Petraeus that he wanted to discuss "unilateral operations
that have tired the people of Afghanistan."

The president has consistently demanded an end to
anti-insurgent operations conducted solely by foreign forces,
saying they should always work with their Afghan counterparts.

Petraeus`s spokesman later confirmed that the meeting
had taken place but could not disclose details of what they
discussed.

The meeting came after a delegation which Karzai had
charged to probe what had happened reported back, the
statement said.

"The delegation concluded that the unilateral
operation by the coalition forces, the deaths of a woman and a
young girl and the existence of armed individuals amongst the
demonstrators were the main causes of the violence in the
demonstrations," it added.

Civilian casualties in military operations are a
highly sensitive issue in Afghanistan and Karzai has
repeatedly called on foreign forces to do more to prevent
them.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 21:37

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