PAN, September 7, 2013
Casualties as protest in Iranian consulate turns violent
They accused the consulate officials of corruption and not issuing them visas to return to their jobs in the neighbouring country until they were paid bribes
By Sharafuddin Stanikzai
Police guards at the Iranian consulate on Saturday opened fire at protestors in western Herat province, killing one and injuring four others, an official said.
The protest involving dozens of residents, mostly labourers, was staged in front of the Iranian consulate in Herat City, the provincial capital.
They accused the consulate officials of corruption and not issuing them visas to return to their jobs in the neighbouring country until they were paid bribes.
One of the protestors, Abdul Rahim, told Pajhwok Afghan News it was their fourth consecutive day visiting the consulate to obtain visas, but in vain.
“Each one deposited 20,000 afghanis to obtain visa, but the consulate officers have deceived us; they are not issuing us visas nor returning the money,” he alleged.
Rahim said it was a peaceful protest, but the consulate guards opened fire after beating the demonstrators.
Police Chief Abdul Hamid Hamidi confirmed the death of one protestor and injuries to two others in the firing incident.
But a doctor at the Civil Hospital, Mohammad Rafiq Sherzai, said they had been delivered four wounded people. “Police told us one protestor has died,” he added.
Police spokesman Col. Abdul Rauf Ahmadi said security officials had not been informed about the protest.
He said security guards openedfire after the protestors attacked the consulate’s gate.
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