UN vehicle shot in Afghan capital, driver wounded

A UN vehicle was shot up at a busy traffic circle in Afghanistan`s capital Tuesday, and at least one person was wounded, witnesses said.

Afghanistan: A UN vehicle was shot up at a busy traffic circle in Afghanistan`s capital Tuesday, and at least one person was wounded, witnesses said.

The windows were shattered on the white pickup truck, with a blue UN logo painted on the side, and blood was spattered inside. The attack came at a time of heavy traffic around Massoud circle, an intersection near the US Embassy and an American military base.

Two people were in the vehicle, but only the driver was hit, said a man who saw the shooting. He only gave one name, Mirajudin.

Mirajudin said he and the passenger of the UN vehicle helped pull the driver out.

"I saw that the driver was shot in his eye," said Mirajudin, who still had blood smeared on his arms. "He was bleeding from the eye and from the nose. I helped him and we put him in an ambulance."

Kieran Dwyer, director of communications for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, confirmed the shooting, but he did not know the condition of the driver. "Our UN security team is on the ground working with Afghan police," he said.

In southeastern Kabul, a protest against NATO forces in Afghanistan turned violent as demonstrators clashed with police. At least 15 police officers and five civilians were wounded, according to Mohammad Khalil Dastyar, deputy police chief in the capital.

About 300 protesters blocked streets in the neighborhood of Qalacha. Some threw rocks through windows. A small group hoisted a banner that said: "We don`t want American occupiers."

An AP reporter at the scene heard gunshots, but it was unclear who was shooting. A police official said some of the protesters were shooting Kalashnikov rifles. Two police vehicles were damaged. Police were seen arresting six suspects.

The protest was prompted by a raid that Afghan police and intelligence officials conducted Monday night at a madrassa, or religious school, in which three people were arrested, Dastyar said. One demonstrator said they were angry because foreign troops with the Afghan forces had had torn up copies of the Quran and let a dog — considered unclean in Islam — rummage through a mosque.

However, Akthar Mohammad Noorzoi, chief of police in the district where the raid occurred, said that while foreign forces surrounded the area, Afghan officials actually conducted the raid.

A NATO spokesman, Lt. Comm. Iain Baxter, confirmed that NATO forces took part in a search in Kabul last night and arrested a number of suspected insurgents. Another NATO spokesman, Lt. Col. Todd Vician, said no dogs were used in any coalition operation in Kabul on Monday night.

Bureau Report

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