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    Paktia residents protest civilian death

    GARDEZ (PAN): Residents of southeastern Paktia province protested against Afghan and foreign security forces on Thursday, a day after a civilian was killed by a mortar shell during a firefight between militants and coalition troops.

    Angered by the civilian death in the Zazai Aryub district, some 300 men blocked the Zazai Aryub-Gardez highway as a mark of protest. The mortar shell that hit a civilian house wounded 10 others, the protestors said.

    They blocked the highway, which connects the provincial capital with the district, for six hours and chanted slogans against the Afghan government and foreign soldiers.

    The protestors asked the authorities for a thoroughgoing investigation into the incident and bringing the perpetrators to justice. "We will continue our protest as long as the perpetrators are not punished," protestor Dina Gul vowed.

    Deputy Governor Abdul Rahman Mangal said only one person was killed and four others were wounded by the shell.  A delegation had been sent to the area to ascertain who had fired the shell, he added.

    frm/mud