2012 Indy Info
Laura: Time to stop the killings, waring I hope. Will focus on sending Afghanistan positive energy and healing . The Afghan people are saying no more war, enough is enough in my opinion here. I think Obama and Cameron should listen. Thanks to Bill Brockbrader
Published: 13 March, 2012, 12:09 Edited: 13 March, 2012, 17:55
Afghan protestors shout anti-US slogans during a demonstration in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province on March 13, 2012 (AFP Photo / Noorullah Shirzada)
Senior Afghan officials have been fired upon while visiting villages where it is reported a US soldier shot 16 people dead. One soldier from the delegation’s security was killed while another soldier and a military prosecutor were wounded.
“There was an armed attack on them from a distance and the firing continued for about 10 minutes,” a local reporter told AFP.
The delegation, which included two of President Hamid Karzai’s brothers and other senior officials, was in mosque, taking part in a memorial service for victims when the shooting started.
“We were giving them our condolences, then we heard two very, very light shots,” said one of the president’s brothers, Qayum Karzai. “Then we assumed that it was the national army that started to fire in the air.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack against the delegation, but it comes a day after the Taliban has vowed to take revenge on those “defenseless Afghanis” killed in the two villages in Panjwai district on Sunday. The group reiterated that threat on Tuesday.
The dignitaries had left the area, some heading back to Kandahar city, while others remained to continue an investigation into Sunday’s shootings.
The killings have caused outrage all across Afghanistan with hundreds of students taking part in the first significant protest against the killings in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday.
The mob blocked a highway leading to the capital Kabul. About 400 students chanted anti-American slogans and demanded a public trial for the shooter.
They also burned an effigy of US President Barack Obama and shouted “Death to America – Death to Obama.” Some carried aggressive banners, one of them saying “Jihad (holy war) is the only way to get the invading Americans out of Afghanistan,” AFP news agency reports.
The protest follows a call by Afghanistan’s parliament to publicly try the shooter. American Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced on Monday that the soldier might face the death penalty if convicted. He added that the man will be tried under US military law.
This comes as the first demonstration after the bloody rampage on Sunday, when at least one US soldier, reportedly drunk, killed 16 Afghani villagers, including nine children. Witnesses said several US soldiers were involved and reported the shocking details of the atrocity.
The US embassy warned the protests following the recent killings may spread and become violent, just like demonstrations after several copies of the Koran were burned on a military base last month. That time 40 people were killed in violent protests.
The Kandahar Governor held talks with villagers, trying to explain the suspected US soldier was insane. But people accuse officials of defending the Americans instead of the Afghan people.
NATO and US officials say they are sorry about the incident, but note the shooting must not derail the military mission in Afghanistan and would not affect the withdrawal of US troops by the end of 2014.
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