USA Today, March 7, 2009
Civilian killings in US raid spark protest in Khost
Protesters in the eastern city of Khost threw rocks at the convoy, shouted "Death to America" and burned tires in the road, sending up dark plumes of smoke.
Afghan demonstrators blocked the path of a U.S. military convoy in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday after an overnight U.S. raid killed four Afghans and wounded two, an official and protesters said.
Angry Afghan demonstrators block the path of a U.S. military convoy during a protest against the U.S. forces, following an early morning raid in Khost province east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, March 7, 2009.
Protesters in the eastern city of Khost threw rocks at the convoy, shouted "Death to America" and burned tires in the road, sending up dark plumes of smoke. Several hundred men gathered in the street, preventing the vehicles from passing.
The demonstrators were condemning an early morning raid in Khost province that killed four people and wounded two, said Tahir Khan Sabari, Khost deputy governor. Protesters also said several Afghans were arrested in the raid.
Sabari said the four killed were civilians.
Overnight raids are typically carried out by U.S. Special Operations Forces. A U.S. spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment, and a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force had no immediate information.
Sabari said the raid took place without the participation of Afghan forces despite a recent agreement between U.S. forces and the Afghan Ministry of Defense saying Afghans would take part in overnight raids to prevent civilian casualties and help with cultural issues, like entering Afghan homes and language difficulties.
President Hamid Karzai has complained loudly the last several months about civilian deaths, and has pleaded with the U.S. and NATO to prevent such killings.
AP Television News footage showed Afghan protesters blocking the path of U.S. military vehicles in Khost, but there were no direct clashes between the military convoy and the protesters. -AP
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