Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Death to Canada"

Kandaharis protest foreign forces
Afghan villagers in Zhari district (see map) where Canadian troops operate staged a protest after an alleged overnight raid which killed two local clerics. While the CBC, below, reports a crowd of 500, Al Jazeera says "more than 1000 people" took part in the demonstration.

About 500 protesters shut down the main highway out of Kandahar city about 7 a.m. local time with some chanting "death to Canada" and "death to foreigners," and calling on foreign troops to leave the country.

Canadian military officials have denied involvement in the raids by both their own soldiers and NATO's.

One Afghan man at the protest told CBC News that he had guests in his house when soldiers burst into the building. "The soldiers tied their hands and feet, covered their eyes and took them away," he said. Another witness said the raids were by American and Canadian soldiers, who took eight people and killed two.

"They're killing our young men," one protester told an interpreter for the Canadian Press. "The day is not far when these innocent civilians will stand against NATO and other foreign troops."

Witnesses also told the Canadian Press that known members of the Taliban were at the demonstration. In the end, Afghan elders in the district quelled the protest. [...]

Habibullah Jan, a lawmaker from Sanzari village, told the Associated Press that NATO forces were responsible for the deaths.

He warned that if international forces continued to target civilians, "people will take up arms against the government and NATO." (link)

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