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Afghan Parliament Seeks Arrest of US Troops Involved in Accident


Afghanistan's parliament has passed a resolution demanding the arrest of U.S. soldiers involved in a deadly car crash.

Afghan legislators passed the non-binding resolution late Tuesday, a day after the violent riots swept through the capital.

The parliament's deputy speaker, Mohamamd Arif Noorzai says the people responsible for the deadly accident that sparked the violence should be handed over to local authorities and prosecuted.

The riots erupted Monday moments after a U.S. military truck reportedly lost control and slammed into several cars, killing at least one person.

The accident attracted a massive crowd. Within minutes protesters started throwing rocks and hurling abuse at the U.S. soldiers. Shots were fired and at least one person was killed. Rumors soon circulated that the U.S. troops were responsible.

U.S. military spokesman Colonel Tom Collins repeated earlier claims that American forces only fired their weapons in self-defense.

"The gathered crowd had grown to approximately 300 to 500 people and became increasingly hostile," he said. "There are indications from our initial investigation that coalition soldiers did in fact use their weapons in self-defense."

But Collins did not say whether the U.S. troops fired into the crowd or over it, as previously claimed.

The anti-American riots spread from the crash site to the city center, where dozens of buildings were ransacked.

Hundreds of demonstrators chanted slogans against the United States and Afghanistan's U.S.-backed president, Hamid Karzai.

The violence was the worst the capital has seen since U.S. forces occupied the city in late 2001. On Tuesday, at least 10 people were confirmed dead with dozens more injured.

U.S. officials say they are working closely with the Afghan government to identify what went wrong on Monday and how to avoid similar accidents in the future.

The riots are widely seen as a sign of growing frustration with the U.S. troops in the city, as well as the grinding poverty that still plagues most of the country.

Foreign troops routinely speed through Kabul's dusty streets, dodging pedestrians and creating massive traffic jams.

Meanwhile, urgently needed development projects, including new roads, remain unfinished and the capital's unemployment rate is estimated at 40 percent.

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