Afghans protest Obama over student killings / PHOTO

Protesters took to the streets in Afghanistan, burning an effigy of the US president to slam civilian deaths during Western military attacks.

Afghans protest Obama over student killings / PHOTO

Protesters took to the streets in Afghanistan on Wednesday, burning an effigy of the US president and shouting "death to Obama" to slam civilian deaths during Western military attacks.

Hundreds of university students blocked main roads in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Nangahar province, to protest the alleged deaths of 10 civilians, mostly school children, in a Western military offensive on Saturday.



Asadullah Wafa, head of a presidential delegation sent to investigate the weekend attack in Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan, said he had confirmed that all of the dead was civilians.

"Those people that were killed were innocent civilians," Wafa told reporters in Asadabad, the provincial capital of Kunar. "We want to find and punish the person who has given the false information."



Eight boys, aged between 13 and 18, and two men in their 20s were killed, Wafa added.

Wafa's team spent several days interviewing local officials and relatives of the dead.

In the capital of Nangahar province, which borders Kunar, the university students took to the streets to protest against the raid, demanding those responsible be brought to justice.



"We have no more patience. It has happened repeatedly. If it occurs again, we will drop our pens and take arms," one group chanted.

Others targeted U.S. President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai.

"Death to Obama. Down with Karzai," they shouted.



NATO-led forces said the raid was a "joint operation" and it was still under investigation, but Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimi denied this, saying Afghan troops had not taken part.



The United Nations released figures this week showing that civilian deaths rose 10.8 percent in the first 10 months of 2009 to 2,038, up from 1,838 for the same period of 2008.

Obama early this month ordered 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghan invasion, leading people fearing higher civilian casualties.


Agencies


Last Mod: 31 Aralık 2009, 13:31
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