Nazarabad: US troops raided the home of a female member of the Afghan Parliament and killed a neighbour who was one of her relatives, the MP said on Thursday, an incident that sparked angry protests in the east.
A spokesman for foreign forces in Afghanistan said Western and Afghan troops had raided a house in the area and shot dead an armed man but was not able to comment on whether the house belonged to a member of Parliament.
Night-time raids by Western troops and civilian casualties are among the most incendiary issues in Afghanistan, and the targeting of a female parliamentarian would raise the political temperature at a time when NATO is preparing a large offensive.
Safia Sediqi, an outspoken member of Parliament from eastern Nangarhar province, said scores of US soldiers raided her village home shortly before midnight.
Inside the house, they broke furniture and tied up family members, including her brother, for hours, she said. Outside, they shot dead a neighbour, who was also a relative by marriage.
"I will raise my voice. I am a member of Parliament, my residence must be protected," Sediqi said. "This man had five children. The Americans have created five more enemies."
She said she had phoned Afghan authorities from inside the house during the raid to try to have it stopped, but the US troops had the compound surrounded and did not let Afghan forces interfere.
Master Sergeant Jeff Loftin, a spokesman for the US-led NATO military force, said a team of Western and Afghan troops had carried out the raid because of intelligence reports of insurgent activity there. They shot dead an armed man who ignored commands through an interpreter to lower his weapon, he said.
The International Security Assistance Force said in a statement it and Afghan forces were reviewing the operation.
Scores of angry residents brought the dead man`s body to a main road on Thursday, chanting anti-American and anti-government slogans. They said they would not bury the body until they received a proper explanation of how he was killed.
The commander of US and NATO forces, General Stanley McChrystal, has tried to place limits on night raids, a tactic he says is sometimes necessary to pursue insurgents but can also set back the overall strategy of winning public support.
Ghafoor Khan, provincial police spokesman, said the operation had not been coordinated with Afghan security forces.
Afghans protest death of lawmaker`s relative
Hundreds of people protested today in
the streets of Eastern Afghanistan after a military raid
resulted in the death of an Afghan lawmaker`s brother-in-law.
Safiya Sidiqi, the Member of Parliament whose
brother-in-law was killed, said family members told her that
about 100 NATO soldiers stormed her home, near the city of
Jalalabad, about 11:30 pm yesterday.
NATO said today that a joint operation with Afghan forces
killed "one armed individual while pursuing a Taliban
facilitator" last night in the same district. The person
ignored demands in English and through an Afghan interpreter
to lower his weapon, NATO said, without giving details on the
Sidiqi said the soldiers broke the windows of her home,
entered and pulled out 15 members of her family who were then
photographed and fingerprinted. Eventually, she said, they
opened fire on her brother-in-law.
She called the raid "barbaric."
Sidiqi did not respond specifically to questions about
whether her brother-in-law was armed.
"Whatever happened it was the mistake of NATO," she said.
"They have abused my family."
Police are investigating the raid, said Nangarhar
provincial police spokesman Ghafor Khan.