Nangarhar police fire on protestors, 4 killed
JALALABAD (PAN): Residents of a district in eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday claimed four people were killed and six others wounded when police opened fire on them during a protest against the killing of a boy by foreign troops.
NATO-led foreign troops on Friday night raided a house in the Hesark district, killing a 12-year-old son of a police officer.
Nearly 500 residents of the district on Saturday took to the streets to denounce the killing. They placed the dead body in front of the district headquarters while chanting slogans against foreign troops.
Protestors said it was a peaceful demonstration, but police without any reason opened fire at them, killing four protestors and injuring six others.
Malak Fazl Hesar, a tribal elder from the area, said they brought the dead body to the district centre to register their protest with authorities. Police fired at them when they started slogans against the government and foreign troops, he said.
Two of the dead people belonged to Lajigar village and the two others to the district bazaar, the elder said, adding officials at the district headquarters did not listen to their calls.
He warned to take a collective tribal decision against policemen who killed the protestors, if they were not handed over to them.
The district development council chief, Mohammad Naeem Walar, called for a ban on unilateral operations by foreign troops. Walar accused police of deliberately firing at the protestors. He demanded of the government to arrest the killers of innocent protestors.
The governor's spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, said the government had sent a delegation headed by the Hesarak district chief to investigate into the incident.
Earlier, the district chief, Abdul Khaliq Maroof, told Pajhwok Afghan News that one person had been killed in firing by police and three others were wounded.
"If my father is proven guilty of a crime, I will introduce him to the prosecutor office," Maroof said.
Maroor earlier said some militants who had infiltrated the protesters wanted to attack the district headquarters. The police opened fire after the protest turned violent, he said.
Head of the Nangarhar civil hospital, Dr. Saifur Rahman Ibrahimkhel, confirmed receiving four injured people at the hospital. He said they were in a stable condition.
Dilwar, one of the protestors, said nearly 500 people took part in the protest. They chanted slogans against foreign troops. "As we reached near the district headquarters building, police opened fire on us," he said.
The killing of civilians by foreign troops is a major source of friction between President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers, and complicates efforts to win support from ordinary Afghans for the war against the Taliban.
Hesarak borders Kabul province and lies some 70 km (40) miles southeast of the capital.
In a statement issued early on Saturday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said its troops had mistakenly killed a 15-year-old boy during an operation with Afghan forces to capture a Taliban insurgent in Hesarak.
The teenager's killing was the second such incident this week. On Thursday, Afghan and foreign troops killed a policeman and a girl during a raid on their compound in Nangarhar.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.