PAN, August 23, 2008
Afghan Army open fire on Shindand protesters, Karzai worried
Residents and local officials of Shindand said 88 civilians have been killed in the bombardment
Najib Khelwatgar/ Ahmad Qurishi
HERAT/ KABUL: Afghan National Army opened fire on angry protesters who were protesting the killing of dozens of civilians in the US bombardment in Shindand district of western Herat province.
Defence ministry and coalition forces claim that score of Taliban and a few civilians have been killed in coalition bombardments two days back, but residents and local officials of Shindand said 88 civilians have been killed in the bombardment.
An Afghan man shows a shirt of a child who he said was killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike in western Herat province, Afghanistan. (Jalil Rezayee / EPA)
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Abdul Rahim, deputy district police chief told Pajhwok Afghan News on Saturday that hundreds of civilians came out in streets of Azizabad city.
He said foodstuff was brought to affected families by central government, but the local people rejected the aid and sent it back.
He said after the locals rejected the aid, ANA forces came to the area and opened fires on civilians.
Abdul Rahim said three protesters wounded in firing and were transferred to hospital.
He said the rescuing process is going on and there is possibility of more death bodies to be recovered.
Hamidullah a resident of Shindand district said: "They destroyed our houses, killed dozens of people and they still send us wheat?"
He added they didnt want wheat but wanted the punishment of criminals.
Colonel Abdul Raof Ahmadi, spokesman for regional police in western zone confirmed the protest in Azizabad.
He said ANA forces were sent to the area to avoid chaos but were attacked by protesters with stones.
He accepted that two civilians were wounded in firing of ANA forces.
Meanwhile President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the irresponsible bombardment of coalition forces on Shindand district.
A press release sent to Pajhwok Afghan News from President's spokesman office said that 70 innocent civilians including women and children were killed and wounded.
Hamid Karzai expressed concern over the incident and added that all efforts of the government to minimize civilian casualties in have failed.[utube]k6CATc9ZBHY[/utube]
The presidents said the government will take serious steps to avoid civilian casualties and will soon have important announcement on this.
Coalition forces based in Bagragm have also announced investigation over civilian casualties in Shindand district.
In a press release sent to Pajhwok read that the reports over civilian casualties have been considered seriously and investigations have begun.
Herat governor has gone to Shindand district with provincial officials for investigations.
A security officials in Shindand district told Pajhwok afghan News with condition of anonymity that the bombardment was carried out on a Fateha ceremony of one Timor Shah.
The source said: Timor and Nader both worked with coalition forces in Herat airbase, some months back Nader killed Timor"
Two days back Nader's friend attacked Timor house and counter firing began and then coalition forces bombed the area.
An Afghan woman shouts anti U.S. slogans in front of her destroyed home. (Fraidoon Pooyaa/AP)
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