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BBC News, May 18, 2011

Afghanistan: “Twelve dead” at protest over Nato raid

They chanted slogans against the US and President Hamid Karzai and threw stones against a German military base and a police office

 Ten people have been killed and fifty wounded in violent protests against the killing of two men and two women in a night-time raid in north Afghanistan, a top local health official said
Afghans carry the bodies of people killed overnight after a raid by NATO and Afghan forces, during a protest in Taloqan May 18, 2011. Ten people have been killed and fifty wounded in violent protests against the killing of two men and two women in a night-time raid in north Afghanistan, a top local health official said. (Photo: Reuters)
Afghans throw rocks at a picture of Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai during a protest in Taloqan May 18, 2011
Afghans throw rocks at a picture of Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai during a protest in Taloqan May 18, 2011. Ten people have been killed and fifty wounded in violent protests against the killing of two men and two women in a night-time raid in north Afghanistan, a top local health official said. (Photo: Reuters)

At least 12 people have been killed in northern Afghanistan during a protest against a Nato-led raid, hospital sources have told the BBC.

The clashes with security forces in the city of Taloqan left 80 others injured.

Some 2,000 demonstrators, some of them armed, took part. They looted shops and tried to attack a German army base.

Four people, two of them women, were killed in the Nato-led raid. Nato said they were insurgents. Protesters and local police say all were civilians.

Civilians deaths at the hands of Nato forces is a major cause of anger among Afghans.

An official in Taloqan said that the Afghan National Army and a rapid reaction force had been deployed and the situation was now mostly under control. Reinforcements had been called in from neighbouring Kunduz province, he said.

The official said that some of the 2,000 demonstrators were armed and had destroyed public and private property.

Unpopular raids

The violence appears to have begun when protesters angered over the night-time raid by American and Afghan forces placed the bodies of those killed in the main square of Taloqan.

They chanted slogans against the US and President Hamid Karzai and threw stones against a German military base and a police office.

Some of the crowd carried axes and shovels. Reports say two German soldiers were injured in the unrest.

The Nato-led mission says that two women and two men were killed in the night raid on the outskirts of the city. It said that the women were armed, one with an assault rifle, the other with a pistol.

The BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul says that female insurgents are rare, but not unheard of.

Our correspondent says that night raids are deeply unpopular, but have been effective at finding and killing insurgent commanders.

They form a key part of Nato's counter-insurgency strategy - but many Afghans, including President Karzai - have said they must end.

A few days ago the accidental killing by foreign troops of a 15-year-old boy led to a demonstration in Nangarhar province in which one protester was killed and five wounded.

Category: US-NATO, HR Violations, Protest - Views: 17629



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