Western troops 'shot dead Afghan protesters'

Western troops fired on Afghan demonstrators protesting against a raid and many were killed.

Western troops 'shot dead Afghan protesters'

Western troops fired on demonstrators protesting against a raid and Afghan villagers with bullet wounds were taken to a hospital in the south of the country on Tuesday.

Reports of civilians killed or injured by Western troops are extremely sensitive in Afghanistan and have led to angry demonstrations in several cities in recent weeks.

Ahmadullah, a doctor at the main hospital in Helmand's provincial capital Lashkar Gah, said 11 wounded men had been brought to the hospital from Garmsir, all of them with bullet wounds. A Reuters witness saw wounded men being brought to the hospital but was not able to count them.

Haji Jan Gul, who described himself as one of the demonstrators, said that his son had been killed in the melee. The foreign forces opened fire when protesters threw stones at them, he said.

"The foreigners shot many people in the streets, some 10 people died and others were wounded," he said.

Villagers said the demonstrations were triggered by reports the foreign troops had desecrated a Koran during a raid.

However, a spokesman for the NATO-led force, Lieutenant Nico Melendez, denied that any desecration of holy books had taken place.

"ISAF is an international force and includes Muslim soldiers, so we would deplore such an action. But, we take such allegations very seriously and would support a combined investigation with local Afghan authorities," he said in an e-mail.

He said that no shots were fired and no one was detained during the initial raid which triggered the demonstration. The raid was carried out by Afghan troops supported by international forces, he claimed.


Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2010, 11:09
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