Janet's Conner

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Monday, May 29, 2006

AFGHANASTAN: U.S. MILITARY HITS CARS IN KABUL

Update on Afghanastan---May 29, 2006

4 dead, 16 wounded after accident, riot; angry protestors march on palace


KABUL, Afghanastan---A deadly traffic accident involving U.S. troops sparked a riot in the Afghan captial on Monday, with U.S. and Afghan security forces firing on protesters, police and witnesses said. At least four people were killed.

Hundreds of protesters marched on the palace of U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai, in the city center after the incident, shouting "Death to Karzia! Death to America!"

***When are we getting out of there?


Gunfire was heard near the U.S. embassy. The staff was moved to a secure location within the heavily fortified compound, said Chris Harris, an embassy spokesman.

Rioters broke into shops and stole household items, and an Associated Press reporter said he saw several demonstrators pull a foreign man from a vehicle and beat him. The man escaped and ran to a line of police, who fired shots over the heads of the demonstrators.

***You gotta wonder if this foreign man was an American.


Afghan troops deployed around Kabul, and two tanks of NATO peacekeepres drove at high speed through the city center. Rioters smashed police guards boxes and set fire to police cars.


Witnesses: Convoy smashes into traffic jam

Witnesses said the incident began when a convoy of at least three U.S. Humvees came into the city from the outskirts and hit several civilian cars in a rush-hour traffic jam.

"The American convoy hit all the vehicles which were in their way. They didn't care about the civilians at all," said Mahammad Wali, 21, a shopkeeper.

Three people were wounded and 16 wounded in the crash, said Sher Shah Usafi, a Kabul police chief. U.S. forces fired on the crowd, killing one person and wounding two, he said.

A commander with the city's traffic police who was at the scene said he also saw U.S. forces firing on protestors. He spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonynimity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A U.S. military spokeman, Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, confirmed U.S. troops were involved in the accident but said the military had "no indication that U.S. forces fired any shots." He said an investigation was continuing.

***What's with all of these investigations? Are our troops that tired? How long are they going to have to go through this? Aren't they done building that pipeline from Iraq to Afghanastan yet?!!!!!!!!!!!


Clashes in downtown Kabul

Associated Press TV footage showed hundreds of angry young men hurling rocks at what appeared to be three U.S. military trucks and three Humvees as they sped from the area after the crash, their windscreens cracked by the stones.

A center-mounted machine gun on one of the Humvees was seen firing into the air over the crowd as the vehicle sped away. The video footage also showed an Afghan man apparently hurt in the riots on the ground, being confronted by others around him.

No disrespect to our troops because they are human and were probably afraid, but they have to know that what goes up must come down. And why did they flee? Some of our troops aren't making the other troops look very good and most are there with the best of intentions!

An AP reporter at the scene said he saw about 10 Afghan police firing into a crowd of about 50 demonstrators, and that U.S. troops had already left the area. The protesters scattered when the firing erupted, but later regrouped.

Two helicopters belonging to a NATO-led peacekeeping force hovered over the area.

Phones in Kabul were only working sporadically. Repeated attempts to get through to the city's hospitals to get the latest casualty toll from the unrest were unsuccessful.

State television cut transmission of a live broadcast of parliament when one angry lawmaker interrupted the proceedings to protest the indicent.

***State television! I thought we not only went to Afghanastan because of 9/11, but while we were there, weren't we getting democracy for the people of Afghanastan? If this is President Bush's idea of democracy, I wonder how long it's going to take him to get us "state televison?"

"I have seen the incident....I come from that area and I have to tell you," Taj Mohammed Mujahid shouted before the house speaker ruled him out of order and the screen went black.


Calls for calm

Transmission resumed minutes later and parliamentary speaker Yunus Qanooni called for calm.

"We call on the people to be tolerant because there is the risk this could be exploited by our enemies," he said, referring to Taliban rebels who are waging a fierce insurgency in the country's southern and eastern regions.

He said the Cabinet was discussing the matter.

Afghans often complain about what they call the aggressive driving tactics of the U.S. military. Convoys often pass through crowded areas at high speeds and sometimes disregard road rules.

The U.S. military say such tactics are necessary to protect the troops from attacks.


Source of Information: MSNBC
The Associated Press
May 29, 2006

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