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Afghans Protest Deadly Night Raid

Afghan villagers with bodies of loved ones allegedly killed in Afghan-led, NATO-supported operation in Laghman province, east of Kabul, May 1, 2012.
Afghan villagers with bodies of loved ones allegedly killed in Afghan-led, NATO-supported operation in Laghman province, east of Kabul, May 1, 2012.

Hundreds of demonstrators blocked a key highway in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday, protesting an Afghan-NATO raid of killing two civilians.

Carrying the bodies of two men killed in the overnight operation in Laghman Province, demonstrators marched on the road leading from Afghan capital, Kabul, to the eastern city of Jalalabad.

NATO said the Afghan-led and NATO-supported overnight raid targeted a Taliban leader who coordinated roadside bombings against security forces throughout the province.

The coalition said the Taliban leader and another insurgent fired on the security force during the raid, and troops retaliated, killing them. NATO said the joint force detained several insurgents and confiscated small-arms weapons.

The uncle of one those killed said security forces entered his home and opened fire, killing the two young men, including a member of a local district council. Khochi said at least seven other men, all civilians, were detained.

The incident comes just weeks after the U.S. and Afghan governments signed a deal putting Afghans in charge of special operations, including controversial night raids on Afghan homes.

On Monday, NATO and Afghan officials said at least three children were killed in a crossfire between insurgents and American soldiers in the southern Zabul Province.

Afghan officials say the gunfight began when insurgents attacked a meeting of local community leaders and U.S. forces in the Shajoe District.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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