Kabul: US troops fired warning shots to
disperse a protest in eastern Afghanistan over the arrest of a religious leader suspected of a rocket attack, NATO said Tuesday.
The alliance said no civilian injuries were reported from
the protest yesterday, but Gen Faqir Ahmad, the deputy police
chief of Parwan province, said one civilian was killed by
shots fired from an unknown source.
NATO said about 300 people surrounded a patrol and
attacked vehicles with rocks and iron bars outside the massive
coalition air base at Bagram, in Parwan province.
"After several attempts to stop the attack and disperse
the crowd, coalition troops received small-arms fire directed
at them," NATO said in a news release. Coalition forces then
fired the warning shots.
Gen Ahmad said the only gunfire came from the coalition.
He said the shots enraged the crowd, with some then using
rocks and sticks to attack police and the head of the district
government, Kabir Ahmad, who had tried to calm the situation.
The deputy police chief said both men had serious but not
The man arrested by Afghan police yesterday was a
religious teacher suspected of taking part in a rocket attack
on a coalition patrol two weeks ago, Gen Ahmad said. About 50
students from his religious school began the protest, which
then attracted up to 2,000 villagers, he said.
Such protests among Afghan civilians often centre on
claims that US or other international forces killed innocent
civilians. NATO says some accusations are unfounded and
accuses the Taliban and its sympathisers of inciting