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Hundreds rally against proposed US bases

Hundreds rally against proposed US bases

Mar 06, 2011 - 19:25

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Hundreds of people, including womeninfo-icon, on Sunday staged a protest rally in Kabul against the US government's plan to set up permanent military bases in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Nearly 300 people, half of them women, marched from Shah-Do Shamshira Mosqueinfo-icon at about 9:00am and reached Pul-i-Bagh Omumi area where the demonstration continued until 12:00pm.

The participants also condemned an airstrike by international soldiers in eastern Kunar province.

The Feb. 18 raid in Ghaziabad district killed more than 60 people, including women and children. The killings drew condemnation from President Hamid Karzai, who ordered a thorough probe into the incident.

On March 1, nine children were killed in another air raid by foreign troops in Manogai district of the province.

The protestors shouted: "Civilian casualties are a crime, "long-term military bases are unjust", and "we won't forgive civilian killings by the US and Talibaninfo-icon".

National Solidarity Party chairman, Daud Razmak, told Pajhwok Afghan News: "The aim of our protest is to condemn civilian fatalities in Kunar.  Our party will never let the US set up long-term military bases."

He warned of continued demonstrations unless civilian casualties were stopped. "The proposed US bases in Afghanistan mean permanently enslaving the Afghans. It will be an injustice to the country."

"Stop shedding the blood of innocent people," said Siddiqa, one of the protestors, who said although US soldiers found former Iraqi president Saddam Hussain in a cave, they could not differentiate between militants and children in Afghanistan.

"When foreign soldiers have become a permanent source of civilian deaths, Afghans do not need them anymore," she said.

Another protestor, Nilofar, condemned the Afghan government as weak, because it was unable to bring the killers to justice.

"After each operation that results in civilian casualties, foreigners express regrets and the Afghan government accepts them," she said.



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